Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Furious 7 Dodge Charger

As one of the most touted cars that have made a resurgence, the Dodge Charger, especially the Hellcat have had more articles and stories written about it than just about any other car on the planet. Take that same car and put it in one of the highest grossing movies in history and it becomes an instant icon, but that is not where this story ends.

The Dodge Charger of the Furious 7 movie is not your average everyday Hellcat (as if there is such a thing) but it’s an actual off road beast that makes is way to the big screen to be one of the greatest cars ever seen and have one of the best car performances ever as well. This car could not have made the performance and view it did without the hard work of one special person, Dennis McCarthy.

Dennis McCarthy is owner of Vehicle Effects in Sun Valley California which has been the shop behind many of the cars in five of the seven Fast and Furious movies. Dennis started out doing basic maintenance and hot rod repairs in Burbank when the producer Jim Brubaker asked him to make some modifications to a large military truck to be used in a crash scene in “Dragonfly”. After that modification, Dennis received a call to work on the cars for the movie Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift after which he was now an integral part of the entire franchise.

Thanks to Dennis and his team at Vehicle Effects we as spectators get to enjoy the fast driving, off roading furious Dodge Challenger that shows up on the screen in Furious 7 for Dom and his team to find a way to show up, kick butt and rid the world of yet another evil villain.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Two Painted Women

This type of art is pretty common nowadays, but this one stands out as pretty darn awesome. If you just look at it quickly without knowing what it is, you’ll probably miss it. Nifty stuff!

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Why Republicans Should Hope for a Clinton Nomination

The GOP field of candidates for the Republican nomination for President is robust and growing. On the other side, there seem to be two camps forming: pro-Hillary and anyone-other-than-Hillary. Republicans who want to secure the presidency in 2016 should be cheering Hillary on. She’s the best chance we have to win.

Today, she officially announced her candidacy. The natural tendency of Republicans would be to start the attacks, point out the flaws, question her character, and denounce her political effectiveness. We must fight this urge. We should want her to win the Democratic nominations. All of the attacks should be held until she has secured that spot.

She is an extremely weak candidate on nearly every level. Like Jeb Bush, her family history in politics will be seen as both a strength and a weakness, but in her case the weaknesses will be easier to exploit. While her husband was a popular president, he was viewed as the stronger leader between the two. Jeb Bush is being built up as both different and better than his brother and father, so the family attachment will not hurt him as much when it comes to independent voters.

Clinton has a history that will be easy to attack. Emails, Benghazi, her “hardships” after leaving the White House, and Brian Williamsesque storytelling are all things that will come back to haunt her once the real campaign begins as long as she can secure the nomination. Her political failures outweigh her victories. As First Lady, she accomplished less than any since Rosalynn Carter. As a Senator, she has had to defend and backtrack on more votes than any former Senator who ran for President. As Secretary of State, she accomplished next to nothing.

We’ve already been here. In 2007, the attacks against Clinton started rolling in from the right. We hit fast and we hit hard. We participated in getting her defeated in the primaries and making Barack Obama the nominee. We shot ourselves in the foot by replacing a weak candidate with a stronger one.

The thought of her being President is so obtuse that many Republicans will do whatever they can to stop her, even if that means putting a better candidate up against us. We must trust that just about any GOP candidate other than Jeb Bush can defeat her. In essence, we must hold our attacks until they can actually do some good.

Here’s her campaign launch video:

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Fasting Facilitates Changes

As strange as it may sound, the three words that I used to build the title of this article took a bit of thought. Believers in Yeshua look to fasting as a way to do many things and the topic is both extremely complicated and exceptionally simple. Those three little words, “fasting facilitates change,” were chosen very carefully.

It’s important to state up front that I’m not an expert on fasting. I’ve done it twice and I’m about to start again, so at least a little of this article is geared towards helping me to focus my own thoughts on the matter. Hopefully, it can be a blessing to you as well.

The reason that fasting is so important to modern day Christians is a little different than it was in the time before and during Yeshua’s walk on the earth. The presence of “the world” is so much stronger today in that western society has positioned Christianity and pretty much all religions as a pastime rather than a way of life. We are drawn to this world due to perceived financial obligations, an unbelievable availability of distractions, and a general sentiment that is pro-secularism and pro-humanism. As a result, our own walks with the Lord face worldly roadblocks… at least that’s the perception.

Let’s discuss what fasting is and isn’t.

What Fasting Is

I have done a little research. Not enough. Everything from here on out is not very scriptural nor is it purely doctrinal based upon the writings of experts.

We know that fasting was used in the Bible to deprive the body in a way that would allow a clearer connection with the soul and spirit. It’s like turning down the signal between the world and the body so that we can hear the other two signals better.

Our bodies need nourishment and depriving it of this nourishment allows for clarity of message. It is a powerful tool for change, one that I believe can have a similar but slightly different effect as prayer alone. In a way, it’s the humbling demonstration of physical weakness that allows us to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit.

We are a haughty people. Stiff necked. By allowing our bodies to enter into a state of weakness, it makes true supplication possible and allows our Father to work through us to purge ungodly spirits at work on us daily.

What Fasting Is Not

I’ve read some about the psychological effects of fasting. It bordered on heresy because it focused on concepts like hallucinations, harnessing raw emotions, and spiritual enlightenment. I cannot say for certain since I have not experienced those things first hand but the descriptions certainly made it seem as if fasting was being used to allow the wrong spirits of disillusion and corruption go to work on us rather than the Holy Spirit.

This is not a vision quest. It’s not about looking in. This is about opening up through utter humility to let the Holy Spirit be our guide. Fasting with prayer to the Father in the name of the Son and supplication from a perspective of lowliness and humility are the things that allow a fast to work in us properly. Denying our bodies of food and drink will open us to many spirits. Prayer to the one true God is the only way to make sure it’s the right spirits that fill us through our physically weakened state.

Fasting is not casual. It’s not a diet. It’s not a status symbol or something that we should discuss with others unless absolutely necessary.

Fasting is you and the Holy Spirit on a personal journey to cleanse your own spirit and prepare it to do the work of the Father. Anything else added to it diminishes it.

Image Credit: Emmaus

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Another side of the story

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

If Willy Wonka Did Beer Instead of Chocolate…

Most kids dream of going to a place like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Then, they grow up and realize that too much chocolate makes you obese, gives you blood sugar problems, and causes tooth decay. That’s when we make the decision to try something a little more adult… like beer. If Mr. Wonka got into that business, these are the gates that we’d all love to see opened up. All we need is a golden ticket.

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

A bit of the James Robertson story

We have seen many cases and instances when the internet has been used as a tool to bring about the demise of someone. Athletes have to be very cautious as to what they say and how they go about their business on a regular basis. Many times the simplest post on social media or slightest action of anyone can be caught on video and easily blown out of proportions to be scrutinized by the general public who seem to feel they are experts on just about everything and don’t always feel the need to concern themselves with feelings or consequences before spouting off at the proverbial mouth.

Even with all the bad that has used the internet as its tool and medium, there is also a great deal of good happening online as well. Earlier this year there was a story that became an internet sensation about a man and his daily commute to work. This man is James Robertson and he lives in Detroit, Michigan. His commute was 23 miles each way to get to work, but the amazing part of his commute to work each day was the fact he had to walk much of the way each day.

Mr. Robertson had to begin his trek to work each day in a new manner because in 2005 his Honda broke down and was unrepairable. Now 56, James was never late to work, making use of the inadequate Detroit bus system and walking (nearly 21 miles per day of the commute) he has maintained a perfect attendance even without having a vehicle to take him to and from work on a daily basis. This amazing story was brought about by the GoFundMe campaign that was started to raise $5,000 to buy a used car for James.

Some may wonder why he didn’t purchase a bicycle or a motor scooter to take the toll off himself when taking this walk each day. Even though you may wonder that about James, his budget and need to pay for the bus pass each way for the past ten years may have never led him to be able to buy either item and be able to enjoy the benefits that would have come with not having to walk this great distance. Regardless, Mr. Robertson trekked on each day, never missing a day of work for ten years, even though his commute was 23 miles each way and he had to walk 21 miles of it.

As for the results of his GoFundMe campaign, it now contains over $300,000 for James to purchase his new car, but he hasn’t had to use any of that money at all. The generous folks of Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights, MI have given James a 2015 Ford Taurus that is fully loaded to become his daily driver, allowing him to keep the money in his GoFundMe and enjoy the fantastic pleasure of being able to drive to work once again. This is certainly a great story of how the internet has and can help make someone’s life better just by sharing their story of courage and tenacity.

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