Posts Tagged ‘travel’

It’s been said, “There aren’t words large enough to describe Jesus.” Well, let’s make that real estate as well.

While Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, we have known our Savior also has a summer cottage in Rio de Janeiro. There he stands, high atop a mountain in a tropical climate becoming the centerpiece of postcards everywhere.

Giant Jesus in Poland

Jesus. Truly Above All Else!

Now, with real estate prices tanking, the time is ripe for the Lord to secure a winter home as well. And he found some prime real estate according to this story in USA Today.

Rev. Sylwester Zawadzki, the 78-year-old priest who created the statue said it rises 108 feet, or 33 meters — one meter for every year that Jesus lived. Other members of the construction team, however, gave differing figures. One said it rises 167 feet if you include a mound it sits on and the crown on the head. By comparison, the statue in Brazil’s Rio is 125 feet tall.

There’s some creative license, which is nice. Chiefly, Giant Jesus has a gold King’s crown fitting for a risen Savior versus the Crown of Thorns noted in every Catholic church across… well, Poland.

Apparently, the locals think Jesus making a home will be good for the local economy too:

They believe it will put their town of 22,000 on the map for tourists and Roman Catholic pilgrims and bring in needed money to renovate the historic buildings in the tiny town center.

“I am extremely proud,” said Danuta Gordzelewska, a 60-year-old who watched as the statue’s head was lowered into place.

Gordzelewska has donated money to the statue, which was funded by contributions from as far away as Canada. “It’s special to watch something being built that later generations will have.”

Yeah! Stimulate that, Congress. What! (Not a direct quote from the statue. Just sayin’.)

So, there he is.

In the humble Polish town of Swiebodzin stands the only begotten Son of God with arms open wide and becoming the bane of existence for all planes as the Lord refuses to leave the flight path for anyone.

Yes, Ghost Rider, the pattern is so righteous and full.

In case you are new to the Gospel, a couple of things:

  1. Welcome! Jesus loves you.
  2. Muslims aren’t huge fans of the Jews.

I wouldn't put this past him.

To the latter, I don’t mean as in not carrying a foam finger reading, “There’s only one Savior for me.” It’s more like, “I have hated your guts for 6,000 years. Ishmael is the man and you suck, YHWH dude.”

That is whenever it’s not convenient for a Muslim to become a tour guide for the site of one of Jesus’ most famed miracles. In that case, “Mohammad will show me the money. Praise be to Allah.”

Thanks to the Washington Post, we read about a man who has a truckload of bravery – meet Father Masoud Abu Hatoum.

Yeah, an Arab Christian. You would the circus came to town and he was the elephant jumping through a hoop of fire, but alas, he’s just a man who loves Jesus and business savvy.

In lieu of this economy and what it has done for Holy Land travel, Hatoum has decided to work on some grassroots marketing and keep the young ones from leaving their huts for uptown Nazareth.

After all, that’s where the real sanctimonious action is, right?

Father Masoud Abu Hatoum, nicknamed “the bulldozer” for his enthusiasm, has come up with a few ideas, like re-enacting the New Testament story of Jesus transforming the water for guests at a wedding in the Galilee hamlet of Cana, now this northern Israeli town of Kufr Kana.

What makes Father Bulldozer even more amazing is that the town of Kurf Kana post Arab-Israeli war of 1948 is now populated with 16,000 Muslims and only 4,000 Christians. Yet, there he is – a few credits short of an MBA and it seems, a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

On a recent Sunday, the Roman Catholic service at the stone-and-marble Cana Wedding Church only drew about 20 worshippers, most of them middle-aged. Another couple of dozen turned out at the smoky, dim and ornate Greek Orthodox church nearby in the old village center, where volunteers built a display for stone jars the church says held the water Jesus turned into wine.

That day attracted 40 people. Last summer, he only had 10. Business is booming for this guy. Moreover, this isn’t the only PR stunt up his mocked Nehru sleeves. Check out what he did on Christmas:

For Christmas, Abu Hatoum erected a scaffolding strung with blinking lights around 90 feet (27 eters) high over his church and he billed it the tallest Christmas tree in the Holy Land.

“I would have made it higher,” he said laughing, “but I would have needed a license for that.”

The gimmick was enough to attract an Israeli television crew, and a spot for the priest on local radio, pleasing parishioners who said nobody had expressed interest in their church before.

Will his chicanery be enough to show out the resurrected Christ and show up traffic and people to this dwindling town?

We shall see, but I’ll bet you one thing – as long as he can stand in front of his former cronies singing the praises of Jesus, I would say someone will cross that (bottom) line.

Peace be upon you, Padre.

Religion and animals. They have been intertwined since the beginning of time.

  • Noah had the ark, and all the animals two-by-two
  • Muslims abstain from swine
  • Mayans have a movie coming out about Quetzalcoatl
  • Mythological creatures are typically morphed humans and horses or whatever
  • Treatment of animals is holy writ according to Judaic law
  • And then there are Hindus who give a new meaning to “Holy Cow”

Looks like something from a Disney movie really

Looks like something from a Disney movie really

Evidently, they are pretty sweet on elephants, at least according to this Christian group that has been picketing the Calgary (Alberta, Canada) Zoo.

The Calgary Zoo said it has no plans to remove a dancing elephant statue after a complaint from a Christian group that it’s an inappropriate religious icon.

A private donor gave the statue, modeled after the Hindu god Ganesh, to the zoo in 2006 to stand in front of the Asian elephant exhibit. As CBC News first reported, Concerned Christians Canada sent a letter raising its concerns that the statue was “selective religious partiality” to the zoo on Thursday.

MEMO to CCC: The ecumenical pachyderm here was donated to the zoo, and in lieu of the global economy, you think they are really going to give that up in account of, what did you call it again, “Selective religious partiality”? Uh, no.

“A lot of people are saying we’re being intolerant. I don’t consider asking that the zoo look at this from a balanced perspective being intolerant,” said national chairman Jim Blake on Friday.

What? You want a crucifix to dangle in the ape exhibit, as if to tell Charles Darwin where to stick it? Perhaps, a Bible in the snake exhibit with the tempting verse from Romans 16:20 that “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Great, but when that happens, watch out PETA because those will make some sweet boots. Just sayin’.

See here, the fallibility of this protest is most Christians will look at that cute elephant and think, “Aw, that’s cute.” They aren’t thinking, “I’ll bet that’s a surreptitious homage to Hinduism. I’m calling the manager.”

If you want to make a difference for Jesus, pick a cause everyone understands because right now you may as well be telling kids all over Canada that zoos are of the devil. And just how “concerning” is that?

Ever since 9-11, standards for airline security has been acclerated and enforced just a tad. Maybe you heard?

At least this guy was better prepared

At least this guy was better prepared

Well, one thing is for sure, a Bolivian pastor apparently didn’t get the news because he took more on board his flight to Cancun with more than just his carry-on bible.

Mexican investigators are evaluating a Bolivian pastor who hijacked a jetliner for possible mental illness, and trying to figure out how he managed to slip through Cancun Airport security with a fake bomb in his luggage.

Well, at least it was a fake. Just a “juice can with some lights on it.” I mean, he just wanted to put the “fear of God” in people. That’s evangelism, right? Yeah, not so much.

So, tell us Pastor Jose Flores, why the bomb? Numerology, of course.

Flores told authorities that [the recent date of] 9-9-09 is the satanic number 666 turned upside down. Speaking to reporters after he was detained, Flores smilingly told them: “Christ is coming soon.” He said he had received divine revelation that an enormous earthquake would soon strike Mexico and that he hijacked the plane to force a meeting with President Felipe Calderon.

Hey pastor, in lieu of the impending apocalypse, you may want to mix in one of those sandwich board signs telling everyone in Terminal A to repent and seek God’s face. That’s effective… and lawful under the U.S. Constitution.

But this? Suffice to say, I can think of better ways to do an illustrated sermon. Maybe I’ll carry a huge hammer to his jail cell, as an example. Given the fact this guy is a big tool, I think God will give him that revelation too.

(Masonry shout out to Crummy Church Signs for the well, crummy church sign.)

I once heard a sage pastor, who was a bit of a chauvinistic dinosaur, say when “edifying” the ladies on dating:

I have a prophecy – if the barn needs paint, break out a coat and get busy!

While the gasping and swooning was inaudible, many men were sitting in their seats and biting their lip until blood came out their nose. Ah, church. Ain’t it grand?

Look Ma, no swine. (Courtesy: AFP)

Look Ma, no swine. (Courtesy: AFP)

I was reminded of that rotund pearl of wisdom when I read this atypical story on Yahoo! about “religiously correct” make-up and a possible spiritual conversion.

For Muslim women who feel they are violating Islam’s teachings by using skin creams with alcohol and pig residues, Layla Mandi [pictured] has the answer: religiously-correct “halal” cosmetics. The Canadian makeup artist who converted to Islam is marketing cosmetics called OnePure, which she says have the luxury feel of international brands minus the elements banned under Islamic law.

For those not in the know, Kosher is to Jewish what Halal is to Muslim. It’s more than preference; it’s dogmatic law.

That said, why for, Mandi? (By the way, is it just me, or does this Muslim adherent look like some hottie outside of any beach town in the states?)

“Muslims don’t want to go around and pray five times a day having pork residues on their body,” said Mandi, in her early thirties and swathed in a slim black abaya, or cloak, with wisps of blond hair sticking from under her head scarf. “I came to the Middle East to learn more about people’s needs. Most were pretty shocked when I told them there were pork products in their skin care items so they were very interested.”

I realize it seems like she is saying there are Muslim women bathing in pickled pig’s feet, but to them, it’s the same as some Quranic women who just feel the need to douse a little foundation underneath her Hijab.

Suffice to say, this is big news in the world of marketing to Muslims, and considering the economy, good times for make-up manufacturers and the aforementioned direct sales syndicates. Again, what took so long?

I have been cooking with Morton’s Kosher salt for years, but I don’t think My Fair Lady smells bacon when she dabs on a little lipstick.

Moreover, how long is it going to take all those home-schooling mamas at church peddling Mary Kay and Avon on the side to start adding “We’re little piggy free” to all their make-up baskets?

And then there is the issue of yet another ridiculous, and soon-to-be-waaaaaay-overused PC term. Anyone catch that diabolical moniker? “Religiously Correct.” Oh. God. Help. Me. Please.

You know, let’s not stop there. In the spirit of dare not offending any religious follower, adherent or believer, how about:

  • Bovine-absent hamburgers for your favorite Buddhist. Sure, they call those vegans but let’s not worry about that right now.
  • Tantric-lite sleeping aides for that slumbering Hindu in your family. Let him or her get that Yoga on and feel refreshed once euphoria is reached. Namaste.
  • Something all of us could enjoy for a week or two, the acclaimed demon-free days. That’s right, just live without the temptation to visit ne’er-do-well Web site or charge the emergency credit card into a third-world credit rating.
  • For your friendly neighborhood Rastafarian, try the latest in marijuana-free brownies. Because when you need to cram for the next exam, why just have hippie lettuce rolled up in a fatty when you can tap into your inner Betty Crocker and get your baking on?

And for those of you needing something a little closer to the vest, wait… there’s more:

  • Condemnationally correct Baptists
  • Alcohol-correct Catholics
  • Musically included Church-of-Christs (real word?)
  • Follically and hairstyling correct Pentecostals
  • Financially correct Evangelicals (with a special emphasis on megachurch pastors and televangelists)
  • And for a bonus, just in time for Christmas, Universalism… with limits! Go figure?!