Special Messages

An Important Easter Message

An Important Easter Message

Happy Easter!

Easter is a fun time of year. People often visit each other, go on egg hunts, paint eggs, and even decorate their homes for Easter. The Christians though have another reason to celebrate Easter. Easter is a time to remember what Jesus did for us. Do you know what Jesus did for you? Many Americans have a vague idea, but here are the specifics.

  1. Jesus Created You!

The Bible says that in John 1:3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” In the first part of Genesis 1:26 it says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:”; God uses “us” and “our” showing that the Trinity was in existence back then. Not multiple gods as the might Muslims claim we have, but one God in three parts, like an egg with a yolk, shell, and albumen. God is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and the Bible says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” in Matthew 8: 19.

  1. Jesus Was Born for You!

Even though God loved us enough to create us, we have disobeyed Him. We have all lied at least once. Many of us have disrespected our parents, “borrowed” something without permission and forgetting to return it, had lustful thoughts, and called people unkind and sinful things. The Bible says in Romans, “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (6:23) and “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (3:23). When a criminal commits a crime, they must be separated from society by being place in prison or jail. God is so perfect though, that any sin requires that we be separated from Him. This place of separation is Hell and eventually the Lake of Fire. God did not want us to have to suffer that though and so He came from Heaven itself and was born as a person. This is Jesus. John 1:14 says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus could have stayed in Heaven if He wanted as He is God, but Jesus loved us enough to be born in a world of sin and endure mistreatment so that we could be with Him again. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

  1. Jesus Died for You!

The birth was only the beginning though. Someone had to be punished for breaking God’s law. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death;” in the first part of Romans 6:23. Since God did not want us to pay in Hell, after He was born on earth, He died for us. He was punished so that we would no have to be. It is like a criminal who commits a crime and instead of going to jail, someone else that loves them goes to jail in that person’s place. Jesus though did a lot more than go to jail for us. Jesus was scourged (which means to be whipped with a whip with glass that tore your skin off), He was mocked and spit on, He was abandoned by his friends, and He eventually was literally nailed into a cross. He did this so that we would not have to go to Hell. He took all our sins away when He did this and became sin so that we would no have to suffer Hell. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

  1. Jesus Rose Again for You!

To prove that Jesus was God, Jesus, after three days of death, came back to life. His disciples saw Him eat food and work miracles. Luke 24 says “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.” He was physically alive. If He had not risen, everything would have been a hopeless lie, but He rose from the dead and proved to be God and conqueror of sin and death. The first part of 1 Corinthians 6:14 says “And God hath both raised up the Lord,” and first part of Hebrews 11:19 says,”Accounting that God [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead;”

  1. Now What Will You Do?

Jesus did so much for all people, yet many still reject it. Many believe that Jesus was not God, though the Jesus clearly says John 10:30, “I and [my] Father are one.” Many others believe that they must work, because Jesus was not enough. The Bible in Ephesians 2: 8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:“; to work for salvation is to say that what Jesus suffered was not enough. It is like an insult. Others say that a priest or bishop must forgive their sins, though the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” If you offended God it makes sense that He is the only one that can forgive sins. If you lie to a friend, a different friend can not forgive you in the first ones place. Please accept Jesus’ gift. You don’t have to do anything besides have faith that He is God and that He died for your sins and rose again. It is a like a man who paid a friend’s debt, and all the friend has to do is accept the check. Though no prayer can save you, the Bible says in Romans 10: 9-10, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” If you have faith in God, you should be willing to say so, though the prayer does and can not save you.. Please have faith in Him now. There may not be a tomorrow or even another hour left for you. The Bible also says in James 4:14, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” If you accept Jesus, Easter will become a new thing, and you will be able to celebrate it with much more happiness!

If you already have long ago accepted Him or just have, there is much more to do. Though we are going to Heaven, many people aren’t. Mark 16:15  says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” As a Christian you are commanded to tell others. There are many ways to do this including one-on-one discussions, Bible tracts (little pamphlets that tell about Jesus), and inviting people to a church. As a warning you will be persecuted as the 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” as well as in John 15:18 says, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.” But when we remember that Jesus did so much for us, we can have the confidence and faith to tell everyone. Please give others a reason to celebrate Easter!

Some types of tracts are:

Chick Tracts: They are comic style and deal with almost all religions that are not true Christians, as well as evolution and atheism. They also show where you can find the information on the religion or scientific theory elsewhere, so they use good sources! You can also get them in several different languages.

Fellowship League Tracts: They say what the basic gospel is, similar to above. They have many different covers such as: Death Happens Every Day, Thank You for Your Hospitality, and Eternal Life is a Free Gift! Though they are simple and usually have a small theme.

Local Church Tracts: They often say on one side how to get to the church and on the other has a very basic gospel explanation. They are often very simple and are more intended to let people know about church than salvation, but still explain salvation.

Make sure that whatever tract you use tells the gospel story correctly. If it says something that the Bible clearly says is not true, such as working to go to Heaven or that you must be forgiven by a priest, it could hinder a person rather than bring them to Jesus.

I hope you do have a happy Easter and that you are now a Christian! If you have any questions (genuine ones preferably, not antagonistic ones) about the article, salvation, or living as a Christian, please ask. Also it is fine if you share the article elsewhere.

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Apps · Video Games

App Review of Hachi Hachi

Hachi Hachi by Skytree Digital Limited

Type: Music, Rhythm

Basic Game Setup and Plot: A rhythm game that has several different songs that are either earned or bought. The only goal is to unlock things and get a high score. There is no plot.

Quality

Game Play: 3/5 Average: The game is a rhythm music game. You play songs and can unlock more from buying them with real money or game currency or by using the gacha. (Gacha in Japanese is there word for a slot machine.) These songs are played and by playing them you can unlock different things. You can play against other people (real people, not computer opponents) and earn or lose points. You also get coins to buy things. You may also use coins to buy tickets for the arena. As far as I know there is no way to actually be in contact with these people you play against.

Graphics: 3½/5 Above Average: The character’s avatar is very cartoon themed. Though it is cartoon themed they did provide a nice amount of accessories that reminded me of graphics form the video game Bomberman. (Is that series still going on even?) Song cover graphics were similar to anime and manga and some were nicely drawn.

Music: 3/5 Average: The music was mainly pop, rock, and electric and electric classical. There were also some instrumental songs.  It was mostly sung in Japanese, but a few songs were sung in English. Contemporary Japanese music is often different than contemporary American music feel and singing, but some of the songs sound really similar to American music.

Overall: 3/5 Average: I have played music games before that are better in game play, graphics, and music. It wasn’t an awful game, but it was not very interesting or creative. Because of this I don’t strongly recommend it. If you do want to play it, it is suitable for either gender and is playable for children about eight or ten and older.

Moral Content

Official Rating: E

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Suggestive: The woman in the tutorial and the women on the song covers are sometimes suggestively dressed. The clothing is about average video game suggestiveness found in a game found in E 10+ games such as being too revealing or tight, but it is not of a porn nature or extremely inappropriate.

Violence: 0/5 None

Swearing and Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3/5 Several Disturbing Images: Some of the song covers have potentially scary covers, such as a creepy looking clown hanging a ballerina doll on strings. Some song covers are just weird looking such as the examples that can be found here:

Songs 48 background 2.png

Songs 18 background 1.png

Songs 21 cover

There have been a few even more disturbing ones that are now unavailable.

Religious Issues: 1/5 A Small Problem: The accessories have a devil headband. One of the face accessories and a song cover has a devilish look.

Magic: 1/5 Some References: One cover for a song has witches on it. Another has a dragon on it. There is witch hat and a jack o’ lantern head accessories. There is a vampire face accessories. No magic is done in the game.

Others: From the time of the publishing of the article no one had translated the lyrics of the songs, meaning that they could have bad lyrics. Most of the music is worldly and has drums.

Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: The game is technically appropriate, but it is suggestive. I do not strongly recommend it morally as there are images that make one feel uncomfortable spiritually, and as the song titles and music are not in English and have not been translated, there may be something deeper not seen that is very ungodly. Also the clothing on the woman is more revealing than you probably want your teenage son to see. If you do want to play it regardless, I believe preteens and older would be fine playing it.

Note: This article was last updated on March 22, 2016. This game is known to update and not all characters or content may be included form the last update.

Plays and Musicals

Musical Review of Into the Woods

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

Type: Fairy Tale, Fantasy

Basic Plot: A couple that owns a bakery wish that they had a child, but are told by their neighbor, a witch, that they may only have one if they can get her four items by three midnights. The couple then goes into the woods to find the items. They aren’t the only people who want something, though, and as fairy tale characters end up in the woods to fulfill their personal wants, they also end up with a lot of unexpected things they didn’t want.

Quality

Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: When I was writing the basic plot of this musical, I was wondering, “Is there even a way for this musical to have a basic plot?” Not to be rude to people who have this, but the when I read a summary of the plot, I thought person who wrote this probably had ADHD. The plot was an attempt to combine as many fairy tales as possible in a way that made sense. I think it worked out well. The fairy tales were more based off of the originals than the more common modern ones. Cinderella doesn’t have a fairy godmother, but a tree with her mom’s spirit. Rapunzel’s prince is thrown down the tower and blinded when the witch finds out about the two’s friendship. The original fairy tales are more violent and dramatic than the modern ones, so it more interesting but unfortunately less child-friendly.

The first half of the story has all the fairy tale characters trying to achieve their goals. It is a lot like the average family-friendly fairy tale story except that it talks about five or six people’s fairy tales rather than one. The second half has a lot of twist and is not as dark as some modern fairy tale movies, but is still more grown up than Disney’s original Cinderella. The fairy tale characters are now reaping what they had sown from their choices.

Story Organization: 4/5 Very Well Done: The play does feel a longer than it actually is because a lot of things happen in it, but it was done smoothly still since there was so much in it. It was not hard to keep up with the plot, which surprised me a little considering when you read a plot summary it is very jumbled sounding. Things all happened in a good order and time.

Music: 4/5 Very Well Done: There are two types of musicals, one where the musical is almost trivial and like an accessory that makes it more interesting but is not that important, and the one where there is so much music that it is almost an opera. This musical is the latter. It has lots of songs for almost every thing that happens that has to do with the plot. The style is just musical theater. The songs were made to be dramatic, though I think some songs were made to be dramatic to push humor. There was a good mixture of exciting and calmer songs.

Moral: 3½/5 Almost All Good Morals: There are plenty of good morals in this play. I could probably devote an article to Into the Woods morals. The main moral of this play had two parts to it. The first part of the moral is to be responsible for what you do, and even if you refuse to acknowledge it, it will catch up with you. Many characters refuse to directly make choices or if they do consider what will come of them. Eventually they start reaping what they sow. While most of the characters refuse to accept responsibility and die for it, four of them choose to change their way of looking at things and their attitude and survive. In the end they conclude to be more careful when they pursued a goal or made a choice. The second moral had to do with children. As well saying that you should be careful to make good decisions and goals, they also talked about training your child by being a good example. Children sometimes disobey rules, but your example in what you say and do will reach your children a lot. The Bible does say in Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The only moral thing I was not as pleased with was in the song No One Is Alone. Red Riding Hood feels guilty that they are going to kill a giantess and wonders what her mother and grandmother would want her to do. Meanwhile Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk has heard that his mother has been killed and is trying to decide if he should avenge her or not. The people they are with tell them it is time for them to make their own choices and that no matter what they choose someone will always support them. They are told, “You decide what’s good.” I understand there is a time to make our own choices, but I do think it went further than was needed in its message.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: The musical was well done and is recommended. There are a lot of surprises and it is funnier and wittier than I expected. I think people twelve and older would understand the play and that either gender would like it.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Suggestive: The Witch uses “raping” to describe a man stealing from her. The Witch sometimes aims her staff at the Baker right below the belt. Cinderella’s prince convinces the Baker’s Wife to have a one afternoon stand with him. This is usually just done with kissing and the Baker’s Wife not wearing her scarf or coat. Otherwise it is appropriate. Some ladies say the Baker “molested” them when he was trying to see their hair. Rapunzel has children before she marries the prince. Some people find the song Hello Little Girl – the song sung by the wolf that wants to eat Little Red Riding Hood – to be suggestively pedophilic and the song I Know Things Now suggestive in that Little Red Riding Hood is describing this pedophilic experience. The lyrics do make it reasonable to feel a little uncomfortable, but the song is not extremely suggestive as to make the everyday person be get completely disturbed by it.

Violence: 2½/5 Moderate Non-Bloody Violence: A giant dies by falling off a bean stalk, but it is only talked about. The Baker cuts a wolf’s stomach. Red Riding Hood’s Granny talks about killing the wolf and stabs at him. Red Riding stamps on at least one persons foot. Red Riding Hood is really into knives and self defense. It talks about a man hurting his eyes and being blinded. Several people get smacked at times. Almost all the characters die, some of them by being crushed by a giantess. The crushing is usually sound affects, screams, and the stage being blacked out or lighting effects. Cinderella’s stepmother chops off the heel and toe of her daughters to force their feet to fit the slipper. Some birds peck out the stepsister’s eyes at the wedding. A man hits a woman on the head with a staff and she dies from it. A giantess is killed offstage by having her eyes pecked out and two men attacking her.

Swearing and Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1/5 One Light Utterance: A form of damn is misused once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Slightly Disturbing and Emotional: Most of the people die in this play before it ends, some by being crushed and others by starvation. When the wolf is cut open Red Riding Hood and her Granny come out. When the stepsister’s parts of their feet are cut off there is mention of there being blood. In the second half, Rapunzel goes through constant emotional breakdowns. A man does not want to go into a place with thorny bushes because he does not like blood. A boy wants to kill a man after he finds out she was accidentally murdered, but he never does.

Religious Issues: 1/5 Slightly Suggestive: Cinderella’s mother’s spirit is in a tree. That is how she talks to Cinderella and gives her presents. Several people think that an old man in the forest is “a spirit” and even after he officially dies he talks to someone. The Baker’s Wife talks to him after she is dead.

Magic: 3/5 Fairy Tale Magic: There is basic fairy tale magic like spells, magic items, mention of fairy tale creatures, etc.. Though there is a witch, no witchcraft rituals or customs are in the play and nothing satanic. I think the most controversial thing the witch did was bring the cow back to life. The Witch is put in a complicated perspective of being not the good guy, but still having some morals that the other characters lack.

Others: Cinderella’s dad is shown as a drunkard in some versions and though he is never seen drinking, his behavior is that of a drunken person i. e. staggering, slurred speech.

Overall: 2½/5 Almost Child Appropriate: This play is darker than an average Cinderella fairy tale you may read to your child, but is not a completely weird, gory play either. I think the play is appropriate for preteens, but I certainly would not bring an eight year old to a play all but four people die before it ends.

Disclaimer: All plays and musicals are done differently, and the author is not responsible if the play was better than or not as good as the review claims it is as all versions will have different performers, costumes, choreography, etc. If the play or musical did not meet your expectations we apologize in advance.

Movies

A Movie Review of Ratatouille

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Ratatouille by Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures

Basic Plot: A rat named Remy and a young man named Linguini decide to work together to help Linguini keep his job at a restaurant. Lies, family disapproval, and a man trying to stop Linguini’s success cause a lot of problems for them through the movie, though.

Quality

Plot and Story Organization: 3/5 Average: I enjoyed how Ratatouille had a good plot and a few action scenes. It had a good set up with two or three action scenes and an interesting story. It was an interesting plot, but it was the overused teenage rebel idea when you really think about it. This was just one of the many ways you could express it.

Graphics: 4/5 Very Nice Graphics: Pixar was responsible for the graphics, which were very smooth. The detail was nice, especially with things like fire and hair. It was so neatly done that I thought it was like looking at a painting. I especially loved the rat’s hair after it was wet.

Moral 2½/5 Good and Bad Morals: There are two morals. First, Remy wants to be a chef and breaks his father’s rules to try cooking. He also insults his current life and father. The results of rebellion are their home being destroyed and being separated from his family. He eventually meets up with them and still refuses to convert to his family’s way of living, even after his father’s warnings and evidence that humans kill rats. In the end it all works out with Remy being a secret chef at a new restaurant. (This has a lot of the signs of Follow Your Heart and very light traces of Curious, Curious George.) The movie was more of a change your reputation then a follow your heart movie, but it was still pushing it in some areas, especially at the beginning. Another lesson was that lying and stealing have consequences. Nearly his entire staff leaves for being deceived and Linguini and Remy have issues because Remy steals food. The consequences were not as big as or lasting as one might suppose they should have been, though.

Overall: 3/5 Average: The movie was not very extraordinary, but it was entertaining. I liked Pixar’s graphics and the plot was OK enough to be tolerable, but overall I don’t think it stood out to much. In the end it was only an average. I think that any age of either gender would like this movie.

Moral Content

Official Rating: G

Sexual or Inappropriate Content: 1/5 Slightly Suggestive: There is some kissing but it isn’t long or the bad kind. A chef has a son with a woman he is not married to. In a scene where Linguini almost admits how he cooks to a woman it is suggested that she is afraid he is going to assault her. Nothing does happen, and it is not too obvious, but it is very suggestive.

Violence: 2/5 Slightly Violent: The rats suffer a lot from violence against them. An old lady shoots at them and later gets a gas mask and tries to poison them. This is supposed to be more humorous than violent. Remy is swung at with a broom. People grab various things to beat him up with even if there not used, especially knives. They get struck by lightning on the roof. A lady pins Linguini’s shirt down with knives. She slaps him in one scene. A different woman shoots a guy and misses. Remy leaves bite marks all over Linguini and Linguini slaps himself to get him to stop. Remy also later makes Linguini slap himself when Remy is annoyed. A man at the restaurant has committed a crime, but no one knows what it is. One of his many claims is that he murdered a man with his thumb. A car crashes into a pole. A rat smacks a man’s face with his tail.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1½/5 Two or Three Light Utterances: Hell is used once. Bloody is used once. The Lord’s name is taken in vain once and the word “godliness” is used in application to something that has nothing to do with God.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 A Little Disturbing: There is a scene where Remy’s Dad shows him a shop that has dead rats being hung by their necks in a window. In Linguini’s nightmare about a critic reviewing his restaurant, the critic says he wants Linguini’s roasted heart. If you are disturbed by rats, there are a lot in this movie and you may not like that.

Religious Issues: 1/5 A Suggestive Issue: When Linguini’s Mom is dead and the restaurant owner expresses his regrets, Linguini says it’s alright because his Mom “believed in heaven.” It was nice to hear about heaven existing at all in a Disney movie, but it was implied that maybe just believing there is a heaven is enough to go there, which is not true.

Magic: ½/5 Remy has an imaginary friend that he talks to, but it is more of his own imagination than ghost or magic.

Other: A lot of alcohol is used in cooking and to drink (They are in France). Linguine drinks a whole bottle of wine and gets drunk in the restaurant owners attempt to get him to admit his secret about Remy. Linguini’s future girlfriend complains in a feministic way how men restrain woman from getting good jobs.

Overall: 1½/5 Almost All Ages Appropriate: Besides the violence there is nothing too bad that I would tell someone not to see it. I think it is appropriate for children five or six and older or perhaps younger if the child is not disturbed by light violence.