Honesty is the Best Policy – Our Mothers and J.R.R. Tolkien are Agreed


My first job taught me how to lie. I needed to be “Good” and “Great” when someone asked after me. Honesty was irrelevant to them. Therefore, I learned to say “Good. How about you?” Even on my worst days, I replied positively.

Frodo Baggins, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, must have learned the same lesson. For when Faramir, son of Denethor II, learned about these two hobbits holding the One Ring, he thought of only what his father told him to do. And, though Frodo tried to stop him, the hobbits held their tongues (at first!) about the One Ring’s power. This was a mistake.

Some Background on Why the Hobbits Abstained from Honesty

Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee had already undergone many trials because of the One Ring. And the trials came in many forms. Frodo suffered psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Sam, who chose to stay with Frodo whether Gandalf ordered him to or not, suffered in a different way. He suffered because he saw his friend suffering.

Despite the pain, Frodo and Sam knew they needed to destroy the One Ring. To destroy it at any cost. Gandalf had also warned them against peoples, especially among Orcs, Nazgul, and Men, who would try to take the ring. The steward of Gondor was one such man. He sent out his eldest son, Boromir, to obtain the One Ring.

Everyone in the original Fellowship knew how the One Ring drove Boromir mad, driving him to his death.  Though, no one knew better than Frodo and Sam. For this reason, knowing what the ring did to Men, Frodo and Sam tried to hide the One Ring from Faramir. And when that failed, to at least hide the dishonor that befell Boromir. But, because they hid the truth, Faramir almost suffered the same fate as his brother.

How Honesty Saved Good Men and Hobbits from Harm

Truth has the ability to strike hard and brutal blows to men’s egos, emotions, and intellect. As a result, many people choose to live, and to allow others to live, in ignorance. However, individuals who choose to overcome pain, learn to recognize evil, and fight to obtain righteousness will receive blessings from God.

For example, because Frodo and Sam knew how the One Ring brought men into madness, they withheld information from Faramir. For these two good hobbits failed to recognize the fellow desire for righteousness and peace in Faramir, a good and strong captain. And because Faramir dealt mostly with scathing and manipulative orcs, he didn’t know whether to trust these hobbits from the Shire. All three had fallen into spiritual darkness.

But this did not last. First, Samwise brought the truth to light. Shouting at Faramir, Samwise made known Boromir’s fall into madness when he tried to take the One Ring. He pointed to Frodo’s own  struggles with evil and madness while carrying the ring to its destruction. Soon thereafter, Faramir witnessed Frodo’s struggles when Frodo tried to give the One Ring to the Nazgul.

Faramir had great intelligence, greater than either his father or his brother. Merely hearing about the One Ring’s evil, and seeing Frodo’s struggle, alerted Faramir to the importance in destroying Sauron’s ring. He chose to face his father’s wrath, to risk death in seemingly impossible fighting conditions, and to allow Frodo, Sam, and even Smeagol to carry on into Mordor. He chose the hard road, the painful road, for the sake of righteousness. And it was all because Sam spoke honestly.

Honesty Brings Benefits to Hobbits and Humans Alike

Americans today, and I imagine UK citizens as well, live in a society where hard work and honesty are frequently punished. For greed and avarice drive many wills and many governments into evil practices that give to the lazy and the selfish and take from the honest and the hard workers. Christians have reason to shrug this horrible truth from their shoulders.

God’s Word speaks about rewarding believers who work diligently. And those who pray and ask God for help will receive, as long as their will aligns with God’s will. Therefore, if Christians give their time, love, and money to God, then they don’t need to worry about being able to pay all their bills. For God will provide to those who are faithful.

The same is true for other good things. If Christians desire and ask for peace, God will calm their hearts amidst life’s storms. Because, like Faramir, we must battle for righteousness in a fallen world. Scripture says wars will always exist, without ever ceasing. So, we must wait for Christ Jesus’s return for everlasting peace. But! That does not mean that we cannot fight the good fight, speaking honestly and upholding righteousness, in pursuit of God’s glory filling all the earth!

Reckless Hate Follows Us All – Lessons Learned from The Two Towers

reckless hate

Reckless hate exists in every political party, people group, and family unit. A fact clearly portrayed when the Uruk-hai attacked the Rohan people in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. King Theoden, dazed at the amount of death amongst his people, knew the folly and helplessness amongst the peoples of Middle-earth:

What can Men do against such reckless hate?
~ King Theoden of Rohan (The Two Towers, 2002)

Sauron’s Reckless Hate and Men’s Weakness in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth

In this grand utterance, both horrific and true, King Theoden summarized the problem among Middle-earth’s inhabitants. All the various Orcs, Trolls, Nazgul, and Fighting Breeds followed Sauron. This dark lord dominated half of Middle-earth’s creatures, filling them with the desire to kill and squander, but he wanted dominion over all the land. No Man, Hobbit, Elf, Wizard, or Dwarf was safe.

The Elves had their own power, and used their power to resist the evil and flee the land. Wizards chose either good or evil, and Dwarves and Hobbits resisted Sauron so as to keep living as they chose to live. But Men on Middle-earth were easily swayed between the hope for peace and the desire for power. Consequently, they either fell prey to their evil desires, or died trying to fight against them.

What Reckless Hate Symbolized in J.R.R. Tolkien’s World

To put it plainly, J.R.R. Tolkien could have easily been describing two real-life, evil forces when he wrote about the wars between Sauron’s forces and the other peoples in Middle-earth. The first example Tolkien may have used was Germany and Russia in World War I (WWI). The second, Satan and the sinful human nature.

Everyone who has taken high school history knows the atrocities from the World Wars. Though Hitler hadn’t risen to power yet in WWI, his country and Russia behaved just as savagely in fighting for dominion over the other European countries. How Germany bombed London, scaring the citizens and causing them to send their children north, would be enough to cause any English boy to think of Germany as the ultimate evil, domineering force.

I may think too highly about the power behind spiritual enemies, but the devil and the sinful human nature could have certainly influenced Tolkien, as well. Spiritual darkness certainly influences men to war with each other. So, reckless hate could very well describe the constant war, between God and Satan, for human souls. And it is the Christians who stand up and fight the good fight. The unbelievers, filled with hate for what all Christians believe, fight against us.

What To Do About the Reckless Hate in the Real World

Terrorist groups and other violent organizations run around the world, bringing destruction to everything they hate. And American teachers tell us to sit back and “respect their religion.” This makes me seethe with anger. Why? Because no one, since I was a child until now, has ever respected my beliefs as a Christian. My faith receives more hatred and disrespect than any other. So, why must I learn to accept and respect other religions?

Christians are told to live with peace with everyone, as much as they can. Otherwise, as Aragorn said to King Theoden, let us ride out. Let us fight for what we believe in, upholding what is good and right and just. Otherwise, the reckless hate in this world will overrun us, trample us, and kill us. If not literally, then it will certainly kill us figuratively.

J.R.R. Tolkien understood the importance in fighting for a good cause. And while we argue about what the good cause is, we should never fight each other for it. Respect each other and love each other whenever possible. Our beliefs may collide, and we may never learn to accept what someone else believes, but we all should aim for life, and for peace.

Wrong to Despair – The Necessity in Hope and Courage

wrong to despair

Orlando Bloom may have thrilled many women with his baby face and elvish grace, but his line in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers is what forged its way into my heart: “‘We have trusted you this far. You have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair,'” (The Two Towers, 2002).

This line, derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, leads to many thoughts regarding self-discipline, hope, emotional stability, and courage. People throughout all nations, weak and discouraged, scared and troubled, often fall into the pit of despair. Legolas, prince among elves, was just the same.

Wrong to Despair – Why We So Easily Fall Prey to Our Emotions

From what I heard and saw when I worked in the retail business, what I am about to say doesn’t apply to older generations. People aged 80-years and more, as of this month and year, January 2018, often practice a self-discipline unseen in younger and up-and-coming generations. And yes, I do call myself an undisciplined brute. For I know about self-discipline, but fail to practice it.

Therefore, since most people lack in discipline – don’t deny it, for I know I’m not the only one – our every whim and fancy makes itself known. Makes itself obnoxious and obtrusive. And one such unmanageable fancy is the fear of the unknown, and our tendency to despair over it.

Now, don’t scoff at me! People are control freaks in their heart of hearts. They need to know that everything is running, and will continue to run, smoothly and efficiently. And, running according to how they personally think how things ought to run.

If things seem off track, then “The world is coming to an end! Why was I born to such a life?” People get dramatic when they despair. Or, to state it differently, they scare themselves and many people around them because they lack in self-discipline. Hence, it is wrong to despair.

Wrong to Despair – What We Need to Fight Our Cowardly Instincts

Some people run scared. They operate at high-anxiety levels in every task they perform, and sometimes they literally go running and screaming in fear. I am one such individual, and I know others like me. Our fear, anxiety, and omnipresent despair are the natural, human way. But as natural as it may feel, we should fight against the despair which always threatens to overcome us.

Oh, now I’m a know-it-all for knowing how to overcome despair? Well, alright, I’ll give you that. Because I, along with many friends of mine, have undergone many lectures about how God has ultimate control. About how people may hurt us, even kill us, but only God controls our destiny.

Does this help to control my level of despair in critical situations? Yes, it normally does. How? How could mere knowledge about God’s supremacy help to lesson the despair, the hopelessness, and the fear? Because God expects us to take charge in our lives. And if we dedicate our lives to him, living as he would have us live, then God will guide our steps.

Wrong to Despair – What We Can Do Ourselves to Fight the Despair, To Fight the Good Fight

A blog, called Lies Young Women Believe, which I stumbled across in my search for a quote, contained an article on the movie Cinderella (2015). The blogger had perfectually captured the essence in what we need to remember to keep on fighting the good fight. First, we must remember our status as God’s children. We won’t get far without Christ’s help and guidance. But the key ingredient is Courage.

Numerous times throughout the Bible do the prophets encourage God’s people to have Courage. The book of Joshua is a popular example, where a prophet encouraged Joshua to have Courage within the first chapter, and several times thereafter. Why the constant need to remind people to have courage? Because we all so easily fall into the pit of despair!

To push through the tough times, whether a believer or an unbeliever, people need emotional stability. I don’t know how to find this, for personally, I’m a ticking time bomb. But, from what I do know, people have found several solutions to gain this particular strength.

For example, people sometimes need medication to rearrange the chemicals in their brain. Sometimes people need therapy, to share all their problems to a listening ear. And other times, people just need to take the hits, practice a little self-discipline. It all goes around in a vicarious cycle, doesn’t it?

Wrong to Despair – Concluding Thoughts

I feel like a fraud in writing this article. For I have as much self-discipline, courage, and emotional stability as a kid in primary (a.k.a. elementary) school. But, during those rare moments when I somehow manage to practice these disciplines, I realize that they work. I truly can stave off the horror and the despair.

But these rare moments of success belong to God, the Father. Without his supremacy and strength guiding my family and friends, there would be no reason to fight the good fight. So, in this household, we aim to give God control, uphold our emotional IQs, and remember why we walk the Earth.

Legolas had despaired when Aragorn, the man whom he chose to follow, seemed to be fighting a hopeless fight. But, just because death may come, it doesn’t mean we fight without purpose. As Aragorn knew, and as Legolas soon learned, a greater cause beyond ourselves makes our lives worthwhile. And if it’s at stake, then we should devote ourselves to fighting for it.

With faith in the Holy Trinity, we fight this good fight with love. Choosing to show concern and compassion for every person, in every country, at every given moment. Aragorn, Legolas, and all Christians live to worship God, and to love each other as we love ourselves.

“What renown is there in that?” (The Two Towers, 2002)


Screenwriter Peter Jackson barely touched upon J.R.R. Tolkien’s character Éowyn and her desire for renown. Searching through several blog resources revealed much more information on Éowyn and her quests for glory. Information which I shall discuss in more detail when I come across the underlying story in The Lord of the Rings book series. Until then, allow me to tell you what I’ve found.

What Some Christians First Think When Someone Seeks Renown

Watching the theatrical edition of The Two Towers glosses over Éowyn’s desire for renown. Possibly because of the negative connotation associated with the word. My favorite online dictionary defines renown as fame, glory, distinction, and so forth. Everything that man’s sinful nature desires.

For that is exactly what Christians fight against in their own personal walk with Christ: The desire to make themselves great. One phrase that a New Testament writer described this desire as was Selfish Ambition. Believers need to focus on giving all glory to God, not to themselves. To do God’s will ensures God will guide our steps in life.

Consequently, when a Christian hears this line in the extended edition of The Two Towers (yes, I speak of myself), she balks at her own Selfish Ambition existing in a Tolkien character. Yet, there exists something more astonishing within this beloved series: Éowyn found her renown. And it was considered good.

How Shieldmaiden Éowyn Found Her Renown in Life

The theatrical cuts for The Lord of the Rings leaves out all references to Éowyn’s search for glory. All references other than those connected to Aragorn II, son of Arathorn. But according to Tolkien Gateway , and I must assume to the books which I have forgotten, Éowyn did eventually find her renown. Simply in a different form than she first imagined.

Disgusted at the mere thought of caring for Rohan’s women and children, Éowyn revealed more than was proper to Aragorn, the man whom she loved. However, he knew she would never find satisfaction in a life with him. And he told her so in Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King (2003). Though heartbroken at Aragorn’s refusal to be with her, she still pursued her need for glory.

Thus, when the time came to fight against the evil forces, Éowyn disguised herself and went out with the Rohan men to fight against Mordor. Here she nearly met her death. But, here, she also fought the Witch-king, defending King Théoden from more harm, and earning her title as Lady of the Shield-arm. Then she was at peace, which resulted in her falling in love with Faramir and becoming Lady of Ithilien.

What J.R.R. Tolkien Revealed on His Thoughts of Renown

When J.R.R. Tolkien’s father died, and his mother married a man who practiced Catholicism, J.R.R. Tolkien grew up with the Catholic faith. Therefore, he knew about man’s will to pursue Selfish Ambition. He simply didn’t condemn it. Recognizing the sinful nature as something within every man, he merely told the tale on how it can bring a person to fight when she need not fight.

Aragorn made a point in The Return of the King which resounded with me strongly: The point about how valor often exists without renown. Aragorn said this to Éowyn, telling her, gently and discreetly,  how she would regret joining in union with him. He said this mere minutes before appearing to desert Rohan’s men on the eve of battle. He couldn’t have been more right in what he saw in Rohan’s shieldmaiden. For she rejected him for his misconstrued departure.

And, now, I bid my readers good day. Asking them to conclude their own judgments on whether mankind should pursue personal renown in today’s fallen world. If J.R.R. Tolkien found a way for this human trait to coincide with the good fight, then surely my thoughts on its evil ways must be wrong. Only the Lord knows for certain.

“No Parent Should Have to Bury Their Child.” (The Two Towers, 2002)

bury their child

King Theoden, situated at his son’s graveside, weeping tears of grief, spoke truth for all parents who have had to bury their child: The truth being that no one should have to.

What inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to add this morbid scene to his novel, The Two Towers? King Theoden lost his son to war, but what other events occur to make parents bury their child? Detailed below are all the reasons that may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to include this tearful scene.

To All the Parents Who Have Had to Bury Their Child

Parents have lost their children numerous ways. I personally have known more parents who’ve spoken of deceased children than I care to remember. For, I cannot understand their pain, considering my own childless situation. But the pain is all too real. Their grief and despair being way too strong for mere imagination.

King Theoden, albeit a fictional character, lost his son in battle. Nobility of character ran strongly in his family’s blood, so they saw the need to fight against the evil forces. But knowing this did nothing to ease the pain in the loss. Just as nothing eases the pain for parents in modern day. The following list details some ways children die, whether by carelessness, thoughtlessness, or evil intention, and why their parents grieve:

  • Miscarriage hurts parents who hoped for children.
  • Abortion hurts parents who realized their mistake in having the procedure.
  • Car accidents hurt parents who blame themselves for helpless situations.
  • Murder hurts parents who failed to warn their children about the world.
  • Suicide hurts parents who feel personally responsible.

I refuse to say that parents are always guiltless. For abortion runs rampant in today’s generation, and the women who undergo the procedure are responsible for the loss of human life. But, other than this and domestic violence, parents who bury their child should be pitied more than anyone else. For human life is the most glorious of all God’s gifts.

Why J.R.R. Tolkien Wrote About Parents Who Had to Bury Their Child

It requires little imagination, and only a little information, on why J.R.R. Tolkien would write about King Theoden losing his son to war. For Tolkien lived through, and fought in, both World Wars. Considering how many English and American men lost their lives in battle, Tolkien most assuredly knew many parents who had to bury their child. And sometimes more than one child.

Moreover, J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife had four children. Imagining the loss of one’s own child becomes easier when the individual actually has children. And if friends lost one or more children, then the horror that would come at the thought of losing one’s child would be only natural.

Did J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife bury any of their children? Did they experience miscarriages, or lose their children to war? I will find out the answer to these questions as I continue to learn about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings. Knowing that these men survived through two World Wars, I would be surprised if all their children did make it through alive.

How to Assist Parents Who’ve Had to Bury Their Child

God is the answer. Always has been, always will be. Every parent whom I’ve known to bury their child has turned to God for comfort and peace. Even women who’ve gone through abortions regret their decision, ask God for forgiveness, and join the church community. I need not say how parents respond to their grief without peace and comfort, for everyone has seen grieving people who speak and act with anger in their hearts.

To everyone who has to bury their child, I recommend watching Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. Actor Bernard Hill performs magnificently as King Theoden of Rohan, capturing the loss and the pain in his life situation as a king. Because to see an example of someone who continued to fight the good fight, whether a fictional character or an actual person, gives the heart joy. Bernard Hill, acting as the grieving Rohan king, will bring joy.

Some Evil Drives Every Will, from Murderous Orc to Sinful Man

some evil

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis assuredly sat and thought together based on the similarities in their written works. And, in this case, Director, Screenwriter, and Producer Peter Jackson must have also thought along the same lines when scripting J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers.  Half the thought was about some evil fighting against the good in all their written works. And we must find the reason why.

How Aragorn Recognized “Some Evil” in the Creatures Which He Hunted

Peter Jackson’s second installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, started with Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. The creature following them since The Fellowship of the Ring, named Gollum, trailed close on their heels at this point. Causing Frodo and Sam to confront the evil and deformed creature head-on.

After this encounter with an evil-based character, the film panned over to the Uruk-hai. These debased, human-sized orcs tortured Merry and Pippin, showing their moral lacking and cruel thought patterns. When they sensed Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli on their trail, they sped up, determined to steal away the hobbits.

The three hunters filled the screen, Aragorn II, son of Arathorn, leading the way. He bent down, listened to the land’s reverberations, and updated the others on the Uruk-hai. Dejected at learning how the Uruk-hai had picked up their scent, Aragorn remarked on something ominous. Something dark, dangerous, and all-too-true:

There’s something strange at work here. Some evil gives speed to these creatures. Sets its will against us.

~ Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn II, son of Arathorn,
in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers

How “Some Evil” Based J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in Reality

Remember the boss who gave your raise and promotion to someone else, after you toiled so hard without complaint? Or, how about the sibling-in-laws who refuse to acknowledge you as family? And those un-Christlike church members, how they judge your faith and refuse to treat you like a loving brother or sister-in-Christ? “Some evil” inspired them all.

Evil, which manifests itself in countless forms, serves as the antithesis to God and his goodness. Writers write stories about good and evil because good and evil have such a strong presence in, what people most commonly refer to as, “the real world.” For the real world consists of much more than what we can see or hear. Forces unknown and unseen rule the real world, and we should be afraid.

What J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Peter Jackson Know About “Some Evil” Influence

I don’t intend to start a debate on whether people are inherently good or bad. For I realize some people want to think people are good, some people think people are bad, and yet other people think people are either good or bad.

Personally, I believe when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they introduced a spiritual strand in people that corrupts us and makes us bad. But none of this changes the undeniable evil, existent in the universe.

C.S. Lewis wrote many novels about the existent evil within the known universe. One such novel is The Screwtape Letters, in which Lewis took time to describe how the evil forces, known as demons, influence fallible and easily misled humans. A human-based reality also depicted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world.

Aragorn knew “some evil” led the Uruk-hai, for the orcs exhibited little intelligence or teamwork when left to their own devices. And “some evil” meant Saruman, Sauron’s ally.

“Wait a minute. Saruman was an actual character in the books and movies, not some spiritual force,” one might say. “There is no relation to C.S. Lewis’s demons.”

Wrong! Though I might have hesitated to say J.R.R. Tolkien refrained from any Christian symbolism in his work before, I’ve changed my mind now. Several scenes and script lines in The Two Towers forced me to rethink my stance.

For, as I’ve heard, the wizards in Middle-earth represented more than simple magic. According to God-fearing Tolkien fans, the wizards represented God’s angels. Making Saruman a fallen angel, a forbidding demon in control.

How “Some Evil” Translates Into the Christian Life in the Real World

So, if C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien agreed on evil forces affecting life-and-blood creatures, whether human or orc, then there must exist an omniscient good power. This good power is God, known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who knows just a little bit about these two men know about their great faith. If you don’t know, please just check up on that. It’s an eyeopener to see the expanse of their belief.

The people groups who worked as teams in The Two Towers represent the persecuted Christians in the real world. We lazy, laid-back Christians in today’s America don’t hardly compare to the persecuted Christians in the World Wars and every war following.

But, like the Christian people in past wars, the Fellowship in The Lord of the Rings stood and fought together. They pursued the right path, no matter how hard. They stuck to their beliefs.

Therefore, if you believe in God, and you can recognize evil actions and thoughts, then I encourage you to fight. To battle against the evil that attacks from every imaginable force. Nothing greater exists than to do God’s will.

J.R.R. Tolkien recognized this, as did C.S. Lewis, and as Peter Jackson portrayed it in The Lord of the Rings. And if you’re looking at what good there is to fight for, then start with looking at what the Fellowship fought for in The Lord of the Rings.

Twice Upon A Time – Critical Review on Doctor Who‘s Christmas Special

twice upon a time

Christmas Day brings family and friends, large feasts, long-awaited presents, and Doctor Who. Entitled “Twice Upon A Time,” this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special provided fans with their last viewing of Actor Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. And, more importantly, the first viewing of the next Doctor.

What “Twice Upon A Time” Revealed About Peter Capaldi as the Doctor

twice upon a time
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, so fierce and intense, and yet so gentle and humble in this picture by BBC America.

Talking to fellow Doctor Who fans made it clear how much many Americans disliked Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. Learning this made me think these fans simple, somewhat soft in the head. For Capaldi represented the learned intelligence, the serious fastidiousness, and the passionate loyalty behind the universally renowned Doctor.

Peter Capaldi acted the above traits to their fullest extent in the Christmas Special “Twice Upon A Time.” His learned intelligence showed when the soldier first walked onto the screen, recognizing the man’s uniform from World War I. When the soldier expressed his confusion at the term, the Doctor merely blushed and said, “Spoilers.”

twice upon a time
Why must the Doctor always come across a Dalek so close to his regenerations?

The serious, almost morbid, fastidiousness disclosed itself as the Doctor quickly decided to save the soldier from inescapable death. For the Doctor, as seen beside Capaldi in his first televised form (i.e. an older gentlemen, named David Bradley, who looked quite close to the original), had made a decision. The decision, made hundreds of years ago, to save and protect earth’s humanity.

Finally, and most importantly, Peter Capaldi exemplified the Doctor’s passionate loyalty when he saw Bill Potts. For although he had refused to accept her as the genuine Bill Potts, come back to life, his initial reaction said something different. His initial reaction said he loved and missed his dear friend. And that is why we love the Doctor, his selfless love.

Spoilers Found in Doctor Who‘s “Twice Upon A Time”

twice upon a time
David Bradley, who played the first Doctor, appeared downright jovial compared to his character, old and grumpy.

Hold on a minute. The Doctor regenerated into a woman? How can this be! I shall never watch Doctor Who ever again! This reaction ran rampant throughout worldwide homes and residences, on Christmas Day or earlier. How many people have resented and been angered at this fact? I don’t know. But I do know Actor Jodie Whittaker made a fabulous show entrance.

Looking into the TARDIS’s mirror, the Doctor stared at her reflection. She grabbed at her hair, stuttered a bit, and implied without words her wonder at her new gender. Based on what the TARDIS did at that point, the ship was more than shocked at what she saw. The TARDIS acted downright outraged, opening its doors and rocketing the Doctor from the ship. Leaving the fans wondering how they would next see the Doctor.

Where Doctor Who‘s Producers Implemented Christmas into “Twice Upon A Time”

twice upon a time
Matt Lucas as Nardole and Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts appeared alongside Peter Capaldi for “Twice Upon A Time”

Amongst the multiple Doctor forms and impeding deaths and uncharacteristically kind enemies, there appeared very little Christmas. However! Other than the snow from the South Pole, Producer and Director Steven Moffat referred to a famous and marvelous Christmas Day. An event which had occurred one hundred years ago. One which I had learned only earlier that day.

During WWI on one particular Christmas Day, the British and the Germans paused in their fighting. And they began to sing Silent Night. Since they had started the song at midnight, they celebrated Christmas Day, the whole 24 hours, in peace and calm. No shots were fired. Though the fighting resumed the very next day, and many men died, God’s sovereignty had reigned for one day.

Idolatry and the Uncharacteristically Kind Enemies in “Twice Upon A Time”

Unfortunately, the screenwriters had written for the “kind enemies” to refer to the Doctor as the “bloke who walked around and fixed things” on the Earth. Wrong! No polite British refusal to accept a wrong answer here. The Doctor, as great as the character is, will never play God! Christmas celebrates the birth of a Savior, called Christ Jesus. And to Him is all glory given. Sorry, Peter Capaldi.

So, other than the clear idolatry incorporated into the beloved Doctor Who, the Christmas Special was exceptionally good. Capaldi played his last episode as the Doctor with triumph. We rejoiced to see Bill Potts, if only just one more time. And “Twice Upon A Time” showed us a little of what’s to come. So, bring it on Jodie Whittaker! Let’s see what you can bring to world-renowned Doctor Who.

Demons in Plain Sight – Rebecca’s Story

The first chapter to a C.S. Lewis inspired story about one young woman, named Rebecca, and her interactions with an evil spiritual force, parading around as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed man.

Chapter One

Severed hands upon her chest grew thick, dirty yellow nails and dug into her flesh. They ripped through her torso, exposing her heart, lungs, and stomach.

Hot, boiling acid bubbled up from her stomach. It burned potently, destroying flesh and intestines as it overflowed into her body.

The severed hands had disappeared, but she could feel someone. A gleeful enemy. A spirit that was all too happy as she lay dying.

* * * * *

Rebecca’s eyelids opened in a flash. She could still feel the acid in her body. Though, her flesh remained intact. It was nothing but heartburn from eating pizza too late last night. She slowly released the sheets from her tight grasp.

Her surroundings confused her, and she struggled to remember where she was. A snore to her left alerted her to Daisy, her friend. Then Rebecca began to remember last night’s events.

She shifted in the motel’s queen-sized bed, and her head exploded with pain. Oh, of course, she had too much to drink last night, as well. Putting her hands on either side of her head, she leaned forward and tried not to vomit from the nausea.

Daisy had stopped her last night from spending the night with the Swede. At least, she thought he was Swedish, maybe German, or Norwegian. She didn’t care. He was hot, and she wanted him.

Now, Daisy hadn’t stopped her last night for any religious issue, nor for any feminist garbage. She had merely dumped her stomach’s contents all over the guy. Making Rebecca drag her to a place to stay for the night while the guy cleaned up.

With this memory in mind, Rebecca picked up a down pillow and forcefully threw it at Daisy. The sleeping young woman moaned on impact, but didn’t wake up. Making Rebecca glower at her.

Slowly rising from the bed, she stretched her arms above her head. Her hungover headache throbbed ten times greater. She needed coffee, in a bad way. Did the motel have any continental breakfast? She decided to find out before she cleaned up for the day.

* * * * *

Whatever motel they had chosen, it was a nice one. Expensive too, more than likely. However, she went ahead and grabbed one of the fluffy, white robes and wrapped it around her. If the hotel host and hostess didn’t want their guests running around in robes, then they shouldn’t have supplied them.

With the room’s key in the robe’s pocket, she unlocked the four locks and let the room’s door slam shut behind her. She hoped it hurt Daisy’s head more than her own.

The halls were wide, just like every other place in the area. Victorian red carpeting on the floors, extravagantly embellished designs on the walls, and chandeliers on the ceiling all gave Rebecca the impression that she belonged here.

She actually grew up in one of Brooklyn’s poor neighborhoods. And God knew the trouble she experienced there…and created. But, in her mind, she knew she would rise to higher classes. Maybe that’s why she and Daisy ended up there.

She found the continental breakfast in an oversized room near the front lobby. Walking into the room, she stopped and smirked. Taking in the same extravagant designs as the halls and smelling the sweet and hearty breakfast foods at the buffet table made her giddy. Making her almost forget her headache.

People milled around the coffee maker. But there was enough to go around. Grabbing a white, porcelain mug, Rebecca poured herself some French roast. Then she turned around to find a seat.

There were mostly men in the breakfast room. Rebecca relaxed a little. The men seemed somewhat pleased to see her, their wives would have probably given her dirty looks. The thought made her smile.

Blowing on her coffee, she strolled to the center tables, and she stopped. She said a mild curse under her breath as some coffee spilled over her fingers. But he acted like he didn’t notice.

It was the same guy, the Swede. His blue eyes, dark and deep, were on her. A blush crept into her cheeks as she noticed him check out her every curve and sway. He seemed interested in her too. But what was he doing here?

Uneasiness filled her. Thoughts of him following her to this motel played in her mind. After all, she couldn’t even remember fully how she had got here. And she had yet to remember the motel’s name.

“Hello, Rebecca. Did you sleep well?” he said. He chuckled, a deep-throated, bass laugh. It wasn’t menacing, but it wasn’t friendly either.

She decided to play it casual. “Didn’t expect to see you here. I guess I didn’t notice what happened once my friend and I left the nightclub. You seem to have cleaned up fine.” Without an invitation, she settled herself at his table on the seat opposite.

“I always clean up well,” he said. He gave her a closed-lip smile, a dark twinkle in his eye. Then his expression turned to mimic her casual attitude. “I spend enough time here to know the laundromat’s location and how much change to have on me to use it.”

The expression in his eye had made Rebecca recoil. Ignoring it, she moved on and said, “So, you use it often then?” Rebecca wondered if he vacationed here often. Maybe he frequently stayed at this motel?

“Whenever I find myself here,” he said. His eyes flickered around the room, then settled on her. The tight-lipped smile returned, but without words.

An awkward smile of her own crossed her lips. He was toying with her, she realized. She sipped her coffee, slightly burning her tongue. “And after you cleaned up this time, you went back to find the girl with her vomiting friend. Because you just hadn’t had enough.”

Rebecca didn’t like being toyed with. Whenever she felt like someone was, she challenged the person. Making him uncomfortable as he made her uncomfortable.

But the Swede remained undisturbed, his expression blank. “Yes, I followed you and Daisy here,” he said, his tone flat and steady.

Anxiety hit, and her heartbeats tripled in speed. Had she voiced her worry out loud? He had to be teasing, she told herself. He was merely smart enough to catch her innuendo.

She remembered which city she resided in, and calmed herself. No real creep could afford to stay at a place like this. She wondered if her own credit card even had enough credit leftover to afford this little sleepover.

Men filled the tables around them. The men in business suits talked finance, the retirees talked about stage shows and fishing, and the college kids focused on the food. Everyone seemed at ease around this blue-eyed, blonde man. If anything, they seemed jealous of him.

However easy the men around her seemed, Rebecca decided the time had come for her to take her coffee and leave. Maybe Daisy was awake. Maybe she shouldn’t have left Daisy alone in the room in the first place.

Excusing herself, she turned her back on him as quickly as a ‘casual’ attitude would allow her to. Her dream began to come back to her, piece by piece. Unlike last night, the Swede had given her a foreboding impression. Much like the gleeful enemy in her dream.

Why Queen Elizabeth II Says “Happy Christmas”

happy christmas

Hearing “Happy Christmas” for the first time causes many American children to laugh and jeer at the speaker. They reply, “It’s not ‘Happy Christmas.’ It’s ‘Merry Christmas.'” Oh, the innocence and ignorance of know-it-all youths. Allow me to provide the reason behind “Happy Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas” Means Something Completely Different than “Happy Christmas”

Educated Britons understand the history behind the term “Merry.” We Americans, who grew up saying “Merry Christmas,” only learned the phrase “Happy Christmas” when we heard Queen Elizabeth II say it. Something she does every year during her Christmas broadcast.

Americans can view these broadcasts on BBC America, squeezed between Doctor Who marathon episodes on Christmas Day. Hearing the British Queen use the phrase piqued my interest.  So, I asked someone with a great vocabulary why she said “Happy” instead of “Merry.” And upon receiving an answer, I proceeded to do some research on it.

The short explanation is that “Merry” used to mean intoxication and social misbehavior. Whereas “Happy” expresses joyous feeling without any religious or social deviances. And as we know from Queen Elizabeth II and her council, they believe people ought to obey God and follow the Christian faith. At least, that’s what The Crown portrayed. And I agree with the message.

Why Some State It’s Better to Say “Merry Christmas” Instead of “Happy Christmas”

According to blogger Gene Veith, and to the man whom he referenced, “Merry Christmas” beats “Happy Christmas” on any given year. The term “Merry” appeared in the Bible to describe a joyful and drunken man. Someone so happy as to have little concern in how he appeared to others. These two bloggers believe we ought to experience merriness upon seeing Christ Jesus.

To me, this seems absurd. Though God doesn’t ban drinking alcohol, He does tell his believers to refrain from becoming intoxicated. For we must always be prepared to spread the gospel, to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents. In other words, I can see the solid Christian foundation in why Queen Elizabeth II chooses to say “Happy Christmas.”

The online Oxford English Dictionary informally defined “Merry” as slightly and joyously drunk. So, if “Merry” is associated with drunkenness, then the answer seems simple. Since the Bible says to refrain from drunkenness, then say “Happy Christmas.” Keeping those with weak faith on the godly path by disassociating with anything regarding alcohol.

And a “Happy Christmas” to You!

If I come off as prudish, I’m sorry. But the little I have learned about Queen Elizabeth II has taught me to respect her, what she does, and what she says. And since God is the highest and most important authority, then saying “Happy Christmas” seems even better.

Please remember Christ Jesus as Christmas comes closer. And people can be just as happy sober as they are drunk! With the difference lying in  people’s ability to act more kindly and agreeably in the sobriety state. Happy Christmas, everyone, and I’ll be back again tonight!

The Muppet Christmas Carol – Brian Henson’s Beloved Rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

the muppet christmas carol

Love, cherish, and joy only begin to describe how I feel toward Brian Henson’s The Muppet Christmas Carol. This movie, created in 1992, is a staple for many millennials. Having watched this beloved rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol as children, we now pass it onto our children.

What makes Brian Henson’s version so great? How does it surpass every other movie rendition of A Christmas Carol? The answer is simple, and in no small part due to Charles Dickens’s writing.

Brilliant Actors Found in The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Michael Caine is a genius within his work field. His study on portraying the right emotions at the right times shows his competence in acting. Therefore, in acting as Ebenezer Scrooge, Caine was the best choice to portray Scrooge. Both as the cruel, uncaring businessman, and as the reformed, kind and loving man which Scrooge became.

Kermit the frog acted the part for the most amiable character in the story, Bob Cratchit. Steve Whitmire voiced for Kermit, still relatively new at the job with the Muppets team during the film’s making. Nonetheless, he managed to capture all the adult hearts who watched this fun rendition. Even I, who first watched the movie at age five or six, learned to love Kermit the frog as Bob Cratchit.

And, of course, we must make mention of the Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens. Dave Goelz voiced for the Great Gonzo. His character provided the main humor source, albeit a somewhat mean sense of humor. His role included traveling throughout the movie, watching the other muppets, and narrating the key points in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Messages Behind The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Scrooge’s dead business partners, Marley & Marley.

To support himself, Charles Dickens wrote novels during the English Victorian era. The more he wrote, the more he became involved in social movements. Mainly he wrote social critics to serve the changing social climate. However, several of his novels have passed down through time. Thus, still popular, and forever changing how England and other countries look at social status.

The Muppet Christmas Carol understood Charles Dickens’s original message. Fierce and rigid, Scrooge cared for nothing but his own pocketbook. Social events, where people gathered to laugh and play games, annoyed him. Allowing his employees to spend time with their families on the holidays struck him as unfair. His business was his life.

Thanks to the three visiting spirits, Scrooge woke up to see what truly mattered. His money could serve the benefit of mankind, encouraging the working the class and saving the destitute. People wanted to love him, he merely needed to let them and love them in return.

The messages in this movie, originating from the popular story, are like those found in Scripture. Though, unlike a mere century before, they related more to the commonly accepted beliefs and taught principles in that era. For, during this time period, many people like Charles Dickens didn’t specifically follow any religion.

What to Take Away from The Muppet Christmas Carol

The muppet christmas carol
Bob Cratchit and his son on a walk home from church service.

Personally, I will refrain from ignoring my God for social agendas based on Christian principles. For that seems a little silly to me. However, how Bob Cratchit behaved should stand as a guiding example for all people, believers and unbelievers alike.

Because Bob Cratchit practiced patience with the unreformed Scrooge. He loved his wife and daughters, despite their uncouth and disparaging tongues. And his wherewithal to carry on in the face of his son’s probable death testified to great strength and character. Everyone ought to aspire to such nobility of character.

Moreover, as Michael Caine showed with his great acting skills, to love each other requires very little effort. A smile and an encouraging word could significantly improve someone’s mood. Giving someone a simple gift, like a scarf, will make someone able to appreciate human kindness. And merely spending time with others will warm their hearts, especially if you have smiles and laughs to go around!

Everyone Should Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol

the muppet christmas carol
MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, Miss Piggy, Michael Caine, Fozzie Bear, Kermit, Gonzo, 1992

I haven’t even begun to describe the amazing soundtrack or the jolly, ole’ Spirit of Christmas Present! Such joy and cheer they bring to every family home. To teach young ones the importance of love and kindness, I recommend showing them the family-friendly The Muppet Christmas Carol.

The young children might be confused at why the Great Gonzo always calls Rizzo the Rat stupid. And, hopefully, they don’t follow suite and call all their friends stupid. But the overall message fits perfectly with what the Christmas season is all about. For believers and unbelievers alike can agree to share and spread the love during this special season.