Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Grouse, A Squirrel, and a Four-Wheeler


Tuesday began with some squirrel hunting with a fellow PCA pastor, Jason Driggers. Saw several, but didn't hit anything . . . something must be wrong with my .22. But once I returned home, a friend in Winifrede took me out ATV four- wheeling--25 miles of deep-woods trails, mud, logs, rocks, sticks, briars, and, along the way, one poor little grouse. Unfortunately for the grouse, I had a shotgun with me. He is now resting quietly in my freezer beside the deer. Now if I could only get some squirrel, my hunting conquest would be complete.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wet Babies!


Ethan Deal was baptized at Winifrede Presbyterian Church on December 28, 2008. Right afterwards, I baptized Caleb Knapp. I then preached the first of two sermons on "Why We Baptize our Children." We have three more baptisms on January 25, when I will preach part two. It was a wonderful, humbling, and exciting experience. I thank God for the privilege and hope to be able to baptize many more in the years ahead.



Sunday, December 28, 2008

WV Roots . . . The House Mom Was Raised In.


Located in the community of Branchland in Lincoln County WV, my mother and her four sisters were raised in this home.  My grandparents finally moved out in the early seventies.  I lived there myself for the first few months of my life. The house has fallen into disrepair in the decades since and is now uninhabitable.  Probably should be torn down. But from what I understand, Mamaw and Papaw Bear had this little home looking quite pristine and beautiful beside the bottom by the Gyuandotte River.    Two small bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a little den, all fitting within a few hundred square feet.   Below are some pics of the interior as it appears today.  






Friday, December 19, 2008

Movie Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still

dayearthstoodstill Plot:  D
 Acting:  C
 Production Quality:  A
 Negative Elements:  B
 Positive Elements:  C

 GPA:  2.4


Comments:   The Day the Earth Stood Still was a misfire.  The human race is about to be exterminated by a coalition of alien civilizations that believes humans are killing the planet Earth.  It is going to happen soon, and humans are helpless to stop it.   This crisis appears to concern the actors in the movie, but I found it very easy to watch their plight with ambivalence.  Movies are at their best when they stir our affections:  fear, love, hatred, joy, etc.  Movies that fail to do this are either not my kind of movie (a matter of preference) or they are far from the best that movies can be.  Since sci-fi is right down my alley, I judge the latter.  The effects were fascinating to watch, but there was little else to commend it.  

Oh, for the good old days of rising-Cold-War-tension plot lines--that would have hit the heart!  This was in fact what the original 1951 flick tried to capitalize upon, and it hit at the heart of humanity's hateful problem of violent selfishness.  Today's "re-visioning" ties into the modernistic fetish of preserving the earth at the expense of human life.  No matter how environmentally conscious one should be, nature's priority over human existence is an extreme, modern  reversal of the created order--the logical conclusion of confused priorities.   Now, admittedly, the movie's producers were aiming to produce more money and fun than enviro-preaching and repentance.  But I still cannot give the premise a pass.  While Biblical environmentalism may be neglected, it still has man at the top, and no alien has the right to trump that.  Stupid aliens!

So these were the weakest elements of the movie:  1)  The storyline and style of presentation did not create suspense for the viewer.  When there is no tension to be resolved, the resolution is irrelevant.  2)   The choice of  "environmentalism" as the crisis felt manufactured and unrealistic.  As a thematic proposition, it defies the common sense of even the most ardent environmentalists (no matter what they say).  3) The transformation of the alien from executioner to savior was too easy and unconvincing.   The mother's argument was "we can change!"   Her proof was that she loved her child.  That is a silly, underwhelming non-sequitur.  Nothing was argued or proved to Klaatu in support of that proposition.  Stupid aliens!    I don't think this movie is worth watching once.   That's a shame--because I love a good sci-fi flick.  

In Memory of Steve Crawford, who also loved a good sci-fi flick, was looking forward to this film, and would also  have been disappointed.   Visit one of his favorite websites here:  www.outpost31.com.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bills's Go Way Back in WV


The gravestone of my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, located in Pleasants County WV.  John Enoch Bills was born in 1763 and died in 1852, aged 91 years.   He was a revolutionary war veteran.  We have also located the burial places of his grandson all the way down through my grandfather.  We have not located the gravesites of his father and son.  A more recent marker honoring his service to our country is at his feet.   


Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter in Winifrede Hollow

Winter in Winifrede Hollow

A light snow fell this morning, less than an inch. Its simple beauty makes us look forward to a real snow that covers it all. Even with such a light coating, the hills were beautiful. Really, this pic does not do justice to just how magnificent are the trees on the hillsides surrounding the church.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like . . .


Christmas in the Bills Family living room.

38th Birthday

Binoculars, a watch, Starbucks whole bean breakfast blend, and two deer. A good weekend! Taylor, Josiah, and Spencer are celebrating with me.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

My First Deer


Finally, my first deer. Shot on my grandfather's property in Cabell County West Virginia.