Dennis Gray:

I’ve been reading Dr. Mariottini’s blog for a few years now and have learned a great deal from doing so. His review of the movie “Noah” contains a number of “spoilers” but is a good guide, I think< for a Christian to decide whether or not they will go see the movie. It's up to you. I now feel I can go and enjoy it because knowing what to expect it will not be a surprising disappointment.

Originally posted on Dr. Claude Mariottini - Professor of Old Testament:

Noah 2
CAUTION:

This post is a review of the movie “Noah.” If you have not seen the movie but are planning to see it in the near future, I recommend that you do not read this review. Read it after you have seen the movie. Below I will mention what I liked about the movie and the reason this movie is not a retelling of the biblical story.

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Last weekend my wife and I went to see “Noah” the movie. I liked the movie, but my wife did not. As a movie, Noah was a good movie, but as a biblical story, it does not come even close to what the book of Genesis says about Noah and the flood. There are several issues in this movie that do not reflect the biblical narrative.

In her review of the movie, Kathleen Parker lambasts some people whom she calls “literalists” who…

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The Three Howlers

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Personal

I know it’s been a while, but hey! I’ve been busy. A little present for the gang from Little Red Riding Hood at Guelph Little Theatre.
RRH_Howlers

A Very Vivid Childhood Memory

Posted: November 20, 2013 in History, Personal
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Even when our family went through it’s toughest times I never saw my father scared other than when he was facing cancer. Worried? Yes.  Scared… no.

Except for November 22nd, 1963.

I will never forget watching my parents on the sofa in our house on Guelph Street watching the news on our television. My mother was clutching my father’s arm so hard at one point he had to ask her to let go because it was hurting him. When she started crying I asked what was wrong.

My father called me over by his side, lifted my onto the couch and tried his best to help a 9 year old understand the significance of the fact the president of the United States had been shot. He tried hard to explain assassination in terms I could understand, and further to explain communism, capitalism, and the whole gamut of world politics. He failed of course; I was only 9. But then again he didn’t fail… entirely.

No, the 9 year old Dennis took a few weeks to figure it out. His grade school teachers struggled almost as much as my father to explain it to us. As the drama unfolded on television and radio the full impact  of the event became clearer. We could hardly help it, it was all there was to watch a lot of the time. Even the other kids in my class talked back and forth about it at recess and on the way to and from school, mostly just echoing what we overheard or parents saying.

Kennedy

Official White House web site photo of America’s 35th President.

But there was one thing I understood right from the start. It was abundantly clear to me that this was a big deal. A very big deal; one that mattered more than I could possibly imagine. I understood how big it was because of my father.

It was the only time I ever saw him truly scared!

An Encounter in the Park

Posted: August 29, 2013 in Personal
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I have absolutely no idea why, after so many months of posting nothing, I have suddenly decided to post this – now. As I type this I am sitting at a picnic table in Riverside Park having just witnessed one of those seemingly insignificant acts of nature that are usually only experienced via a National Geographic special on television. One certainly does not expect one’s supper to be interrupted by such an unexpected observation.

WARNING! The paragraphs which follow contain a somewhat graphic description of, shall we say, intimate insect behaviour. No – I cannot leave the description out of the post as the unfolding of the event is what the whole thing is about; without it the entire experience falls flat. Consider yourself warned.

Like I said, I’m in Riverside Park having my supper. Nothing special; just a grilled bacon and tomato Panini (hold the cheese) and a medium double-double decaf from Tim’s across the street. As I’m eating I notice a pair of small silver winged insects (each no more than ½ inch long) on the table beside me. They seem to be engaged in a tug of war having been securely joined at the tips of their abdomens. Facing away from each other, joined at the (ovipositor? meh!) – ass, they each seem to be struggling to pull the other in their preferred direction.

A brief rundown of the aforementioned National Geographic specials in my randomly accessed memory reveals I am quite likely witnessing two insects (of a hitherto unidentified species) mating. My first thought was, “Wow! I wonder how often there have been mating bugs on my dinner table when I didn’t notice?”

What happens next is the graphic part, so brace yourself. One of the insects, making what for all the world appeared to be a Herculean effort, suddenly tore away from the encounter taking a portion of the other insect’s insides with it!  In that moment, the information from the National Geographic program and my grade 9 biology class coalesced in my consciousness and I realized what I had just witness was the culmination of the sex act; the climax, if you will.

Using reproductive organs obviously designed for the task, the female of the species clamped firmly onto the male’s member and tore away from the encounter ripping his gonads out by the roots and taking them with her!

I was stunned. And so apparently was the male bug as he just sat there motionless for what had to have been at least 20 seconds. Finally, he made a stuttering, halting effort to move, eventually flying away, likely to find somewhere to expire.

My second thought, I am somewhat hesitant to admit, was, “Gee pal, I hope it was worth it!”

I know, not my best moment; but if it’s any consolation I did spend the next minutes musing about the whole procreation thing. The need to reproduce; the need to leave a legacy by continuing our bloodline and the lengths we are driven to by hormones, pheromones and endorphins to acquire a mate and do the deed. I came to no startling conclusions, no great philosophical revelations, only a few harrumphs and the odd heavy sigh.

Besides it wasn’t long until my more profound ruminations were displaced by my media addle-pated imagination which conjured up Bruce Willis sitting on the bench beside me, and having just witnessed the very same scene replayed out in my memory, turned to me and said, in the way only Bruce Willis can…

“You know, that’s exactly what my divorce felt like.”

Moment over.

Cue music.

Fade to black.

Onthe Road Again – 2013

Posted: April 12, 2013 in Cycling, Personal
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Alex being Interviewed on the Ride

My brother Alex being Interviewed during the Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012.

Freezing rain and ice pellets aside, it must be spring, because there were earthworms all over the bike lanes this week. Thank God for fenders.

Yes, I have finally gotten started on my 2013 cycling season. It’s pretty damp in the morning which makes it seem a lot colder than it actually is, but even so, it feels good to be on the road again. There’s just something about riding a bike that makes me feel so much younger than I feel most mornings. I turn 60 next year and a lot of mornings I feel every bit of my 59 years and then some. But this past week, riding to Guelph Little Theatre last Saturday, then to work a couple of mornings, I have felt better than I have in a long time.

Winter’s over (weather be-damned), spring is here; I’m on my bike again. Life is good.

Of course that also means that the Ride to Conquer Cancer, benefiting the Campbell Family Research Centre at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, is less than two months away (it’s happening June 8th & 9th). The next few weeks will be very busy as Team Kortright ramps up its fundraising efforts. Stay tuned for more info on these efforts in the days to come.

This week however, I am very pleased to announce that we have two new team members this year; Dr. Phil McAlister and Les Ferrier.

Many of you in the Guelph area will be familiar with Dr. Phil from his Living Healthy show (available o n YouTube) and his work at Tranquil Therapeutic Solutions on Scottsdale Drive. He’s been a cyclist both on and off road for some time and it’s great to have him on board.

Les Ferrier has been a supporter of Team Kortright all along the way and has decided to ride with us in 2013. Les is now officially the oldest member of the team and brings years of cycling experience with him (he and his wife Barb spent their honeymoon cycling) and so we are very glad to

have him on the team as well. Welcome to both Les and Phil.

On the downside however, this year even more of my friends are battling with this terrible disease.

Prominent in my mind and heart when I think on what we are trying to do with the Ride to Conquer Cancer is my friend Cindi. She is just finishing up her chemo-therapy regimen and while the treatments are much milder than they were back when my brother went through it, it’s still no walk in the park. In fact, a walk in the park takes a lot out of Cindi most days (when it happens at all), but thanks to the support of her family and friends, and especially her husband Pete, the journey to healing continues. You can read her story over at their blog “Following Jesus is Hard.”

It’s because of people like Cindi, my brother, and so many others that have both won and lost their struggle with cancer that I continue to participate in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. And it’s because of the far too many people you know who have and are struggling with it that I ask you to help by making a donation and sponsoring me again this year. As in past years my goal for 2013 is to raise $2500. This is the amount each rider pl

edges to raise before they enter the Ride. With nearly 5000 riders again this year I’m sure we’ll set a new record once again.

Or maybe you haven’t sponsored me before. In that case I invite you to do so for the first time. Your donation will go to continue the research and patient support at the Princess Margaret. Last year the nearly 5000 riders rose over $16 million, the largest cycling fundraiser in Canadian history. It was a remarkable experience.

So please; follow the link to my personal Ride page and make a donation. You can donate online or print out a donation form to send in with your cheque. If you get there and it happens that my $2500 goal has been reached then I would ask you to support me by sponsoring one of the other members of Team Kortright.

Thank You and may God bless.

Dennis

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You can sponsor me with a donation at the following link or by clicking the banner in the left margin.

www.conquercancer.ca/goto/dennisgray2013