Monday, May 23, 2011

A Criminal Mind in Us All



I watch what could be termed “a lot of TV.” I’m a sucker for a good series – and one that the wife and I have watched a fair amount of over the years, is “Criminal Minds”, the show built around the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU).

In my honest opinion – I don’t really like it. But I watch it anyways. As much as I’m constantly baffled that there can be those out there in the world who can actually murder other people… I’m at least placated in the knowledge that there are dedicated servicemen and women who spend - and sometimes give up – their lives in catching these lawbreakers.
And every now and then, whilst watching an episode and relaxing on the couch, I’ll get a “thought.”

In the season five finale of “Criminal Minds” we, the viewers, are introduced to a most evil and heinous individual, Billy Flynn, portrayed immaculately by Tim Curry. Nicknamed the “Prince of Darkness”, Flynn has terrorized American homesteads across the breadth of that country for the last 25 years; leaving in his wake a swath of death and destruction; both emotional and physical. A more evil character on the show I have not yet encountered.

With the credits rolling on the cliffhanger that was the last show of season five, when I realized that we had the first episode of season six – as much as I don’t really like the show – I had to watch it and see how Billy Flynn’s story played out. Surprise, surprise! He get’s caught in the end. Well, shot dead really… but it’s the moments that take place before this that got my brain turning.

Corralled and surrounded by police in a suburban house, Flynn has a brief heart-to-heart with a lone member of the BAU, Derek Morgan (played by Shemar Moore). In what seems to be an honest moment of clarity, Flynn – somewhat – acknowledges and renounces his crimes, and asks Morgan if he would ever see Heaven when he dies. The answer is not forthcoming and Flynn subsequently dies when he draws his weapon on Morgan, who responds by drawing first and shooting him dead.

Now, most of us – when confronted with the awful reality of an individual such as Flynn – would cheer and say “Good riddance!” - a fitting end to a truly horrible and monstrous beast. And yet, in those final few moments, all Flynn is looking for is forgiveness, and the chance to go to a better place, where the pain that he has suffered in his life – and caused to countless others – doesn’t exist. And here’s the kicker…

God would forgive him, and welcome him home.

The human condition cannot fathom the true Grace and Forgiveness of God. How could a murderous villain such as Flynn ever be forgiven his crimes? The answer, again, is something that the average human being battles to grasp: his crimes are no worse in the eyes of God than that of telling a lie or being angry at someone.

To God, all sin is equal. Jesus Christ himself said that anger amounts to the same as murder, and the Bible tells us further that even liars deserve to be thrown into Hell. Two crimes - in God’s eyes - that every person on earth has committed; and so all deserve the same fate... but for the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers us, based on the sacrifice He has already paid for us on the Cross of Calvary.

I can’t help but wonder, what could have happened had Derek Morgan shared the Gospel of Grace with Billy Flynn before he gunned him down. Had he then died he would have lived for all of eternity in Heaven with a loving God; instead of dying in his sins and being judged as unfit to enter the presence of a Holy, sinless God. Which in essence, is exactly where we all stand; guilty because of the equally criminal mind inside us all.

We don’t have to have physically committed the atrocities against humanity that Billy Flynn did, in order to be doomed and destined for Hell. We just have to stay exactly as we already are – unless we bring Jesus Christ into our own tragic lives, and rely on Him to pronounce us innocent of all wrongdoing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Karmin


I don't watch Ellen. But my sister-in-law does. This past Monday night we were over at their place for supper, and I caught a few seconds of Ellen as the TV was playing. On it, Ellen was showing a YouTube video of a lady rapping - uber fast! She then sent out a plea to the creators/singers of the vid asking them to contact her as she'd love to have them on her show.

That glimpse of the song was enough for my curiosity to be effectively kidnapped... so I (what else?) Googled a few key words and found the band in question. And am I blown away!

The super-talented duo are called "Karmin" and the girl/boy duo have done a bunch of covers of other songs on the net, as well as a few original tracks of their own. I've already downloaded a bunch of their songs, as have nearly some 13 million viewers on their "Look at me cover" alone.

Their YouTube channel info describes them as follows:
"Hello, we are Karmin! The little band with a big sound. A girl with a guitar and a guy with a box. Amy and Nick from Boston."

Watch these guys in the future. And enjoy the video!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Death of Osama Bin Laden : A Biblical Perspective


Please take a moment to read this interesting, and I believe appropriate, article over at Relevant Magazine - "Should Christians Celebrate the Death of Osama bin Laden?"
Might be hard to swallow, but that's only human. Writer Jonathan Merritt has hit the proverbial nail on the head. Think I might start following more about what he writes...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Linda Rosewall






For every brand out there that needs a Photoshop evangelist to do all sorts of "effects" to their advertising campaigns, there is an even greater need for someone to be able to shoot a product in the most plain and functional, yet creative; crisp and highly retouched manner possible. One such individual is Linda Rosewall.

And it shows in her client list: Maybelline, Christian Dior, Canon, Nokia, Olay, Elle Bache, Nike, Speedo, the list goes on. And all for such high-end glossy publications as: Vogue, GQ, Marie Claire, Bazaar, Women and Men's Health magazines, Cleo and InStyle. Without which a photographer like Linda, they would surely suffer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

David Hooke a.k.a "Meggs"




Meggs is a well recognised and respected member of Australia's street art culture. This aerosol and design wizard has taken his background of graffiti and developed it into a mixture of painting skills that have seen him spread his street art and gallery work across the globe, to London, New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Paris and even Tokyo.

It is noted that his art, whist using playful characters and references to 80's pop culture, still has an undertone of "menace" as he explores and "questions the notions of morals, rights and actions of the individual and society at large."

Well, I don't know if I get all that out of it - but I know it looks "hawt!"