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DVD Review

I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

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May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Thursday, February 07, 2008

NOR IRON BARS A CAGE, by Caprice Hokstad

Day 6 Friday

Trouble at Home

While kee, Captain Shil and Lord Patkus, was having problems in Ganluc, Duke Vahn was having problems of his own. Just prior to the departure of this company into Ganluc in search of Dauntere, Countess Delorae Rebono enters his life with all the wonders and joys of the Black Plague. Like the virus that caused this plague, Delorae manipulates herself into Rebono Keep. Her goal is to get the Duke to marry her. It has nothing to do with love, but with increasing her own station in life. To do so she willing offers to come to his household and serve him, “just as kee had done”, but her motives are far from pure. She is a very poor servant, not understanding some of the simple aspects of courtesy and honor, she sees Duke Vahn's honorable lifestyle as a weakness. So, after kee and the others set out to Ganluc, Duke Vahn looks for a chance to rid himself of her. Through a chain of unfortunate circumstances, and the Duke's inability to comprehend that anyone could be this manipulative, he accepts an “honors match”. He's just won an honors match earlier in the book, so we know what he's thinking. To his displeasure he finds himself in the precarious situation of agreeing to play “Nobles and Nomads” instead of swordplay. What is at stake is this, if he wins she leaves the household, but if she wins he becomes her slave until Queen's Jubilee. You can guess what happens from there.

Vahn actually makes a good slave. He learns from his mistakes and is attentive in every way. Of course as you shall find out, this takes a lot more nobility than most people have in them. It is out of honor that he does this, and Delorae uses this to dishonor him in some of the most cruel ways, both physically and emotionally. Yet Vahn realizes he has no one to blame but himself. If it hadn't be for his own pride he would have simply tossed her out, and to Kilbash with the way she felt dishonored. Her very presence at Rebono Keep was dishonoring the entire family name. Yet the deserts of Ganluc, and some of the surrounding countries that kee had to go through, no one could have foreseen, nor prepared for the dangers of Countess Delorae.

Have you ever yielded to something because you felt it was the right thing to do only to find that it was a trap laid out in your path? This reminds me of driving in snow, trying to evade a deer in the road only to find yourself stuck in a ditch alone the roadside, wheels spinning uselessly in the snow. Or perhaps a better analogy would be taking a shortcut to get somewhere only to step on what looked like solid ground, finding it to be quicksand. The harder you try to get out of the quicksand the deeper into its grip you fall. Temptation is a tool of the Devil. No matter who you are there is a temptation that will pierce through your armor and hold you captive, just as surely as Prince Vahn was held captive by countess Delorae. Satan will tempt you with things that seem good or pleasurable, but he will not show the bad side to you until it's too late. The enemy will use your strengths as well as your weaknesses to breach your strongholds. Yet the Lord is gracious and will be our strength in all situations, just as with kee and Duke Vahn, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1st Corinthians 10:13) As kee and the Duke both learn, the way of escape is not to run away, but to go through whatever situation you are in.

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Caprice Hokstad said...

Actually, had Countess Delorae lost the honor match, then she was going to have to be Vahn's slave. He said this for two reasons: 1) He was so sure that the possibility of actually having to stoop to that level would repulse her enough that she would call the whole thing off. 2) He really, really wanted to teach this spoiled brat a lesson. She'd barely pretended to serve and he wanted to give her a taste of what it really meant. He wasn't going to take her in public or clothe her shamefully. She would not have been mistreated as he was, but she probably would NOT have enjoyed it either.

But it really didn't matter what he had planned or what he would have done, because he lost. So we got to see her true colors instead.

When Vahn's slave term was over and was time for the tables to be turned, I considered whether Delorae should end up like Saerula. I rejected that idea simply because he would be so sick of Delorae that he didn't want to have anything to do with her if he could help it. Banishment was simply easier for him.

Thanks for another great post.

David said...

Oh, I saw the reasons you mentioned, but I also saw that Duke Vahn didn't think he could possibly lose. And I think if you had gone the way of Saerula with Delorae I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. It was painful (really) to watch "kitten" be so demoralized that you really needed a "fairytale" finish on this one. You did a great job. I'm just wondering what the heck Vahn is going to do with Saerula now that he has her and her father doesn't want her back. That's got to make for some complexities in your third installment. I enjoy reading you as much as C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien (and Geralyn Beauchamp). I hope people will read these posts and start trampling over each other to buy your books. They are more than worth the price. (Take that CBA and stuff it in your pipe)

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