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Monday, December 24, 2007

Up Close & Personal With....Phil!


Phil is Heidi's husband, father of two, and a fellow on the Batiansila Leadership Council. Phil drove into our lives almost 30 years ago with a full head of leading-man hair and a real mean machine, his Cutlass Salon. Phil turned approximately 48 on December 21st.

Greg was 12 at the time and was taken aback by Phil's coolness (Heidi, Greg's frigid and controlling older sister, had turned into fawning Silly Putty at the sound of his voice) his feats of strength (lifting all the weights Grandpa Du had out on the carport and ASKING IF WE HAD MORE) and his goodness. He took Greg to see a movie and BOUGHT A LARGE POPCORN. This is a feat unparalleled in Greg's childhood.

BNS finally had a chance to pin Phil down for an email interview.

2.Tell everyone how you met Bruce Springsteen!
Bruce and I go way back-saw him in concert in 1981 at the brand new Rosemont Horizon in Chicago - 11th row. (to read more, click here)

BATBLOG IS BAAAAACK....MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The BNS apologizes for the hiatus. We were celebrating Ramadan, including the fasting, and it made us woozy.

I will now attempt to do all Batblog catching up today. Get ready for a great unloading of blog updates like you ain't never seen!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Huckabee?

Here's an article from renowned Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan. Where are you on the Huckabee candidacy? Discuss.

Forgive Your Brother From Your Heart

21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"

22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]

23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'

30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Some Startling Christmas Poll Numbers

Here's an article chronicling a survey indicating a huge number of Americans believe in the virgin birth. This includes what the article calls "only" 15% of agnostics and atheists.

BNS thinks a better adjective is a "whopping" 15% of agnostics and atheists believe in the virgin birth, right?

Worlds Collide! Mipps and Charis

Mipps accidentally came across Charis in Target. While many at BNS thought that this might have caused a shear in the time-space continuum, it seemed like a typical normal "Hi...you're a friend of the family's" moment.

Then Mipps brought up the blog, which brought a blank stare from Charis.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Which Bat Will Lose Their Voice Before The End of 2007?

While voters split between Bat and Deirdre, the correct answer was Greg, who lost his voice and at one point considered bartering a different daily operation with God for his voice. Like maybe his sense of touch. Greg figured he could live without that. Just not his voice.

Robbie Seay On American Idol Commercial!

The entire BNS agrees that Robbie Seay's "Give Yourself Away" is easily the best album of 2007. Its breathaking soul-stirring lyrics, active and amazing instrument work, and Robbie's incredibly unique voice haunt you long after you stop listening.

Apparently the folks at Fox are in agreement. In their most recent "American Idol" commercials, they feature Robbie Seay's "Rise." That includes this line from the song, "Rise, rise, people of love rise!"

Who'd a thunk Fox would be giving the BNS a Christmas present?

Slow down, be still
Let go, we will
Be here, be now
Slow down, be still
Breathe in, refill
Be here, be now

If you choose to love
To know that the call
Is to give all you are
To give love away, away
Rise, rise, people of love rise
People of love rise, give yourself away
Rise, rise, people of love rise
People of love rise, give yourself away
Give yourself away, give yourself away

Slow down, just breathe
Be still, believe
Be here, be now
Slow down and see
It’s all you need
Be loved and free

And to hear the call, is to give your love away
And to hear the call, is to give your love away
And to hear the call, is to give your life away
Is to give your life away

We’re not safe, we’re not safe
But we will rise

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Songs We Would Rather Never Hear Again

What do these songs have in common? These were the top ten answers when a Harris pollster asked, "By the end of the holiday season, which one holiday song do you wish you could never hear again?"

1 Jingle Bells
2 Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
3 Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer
4 White Christmas
5 Jingle Bell Rock
6 The Twelve Days of Christmas
7 Little Drummer Boy
8 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
9 Silent Night
10 We Wish You a Merry Christmas


Did you see what I saw? Only two of those ten are songs about Jesus. Could even the general population be observing the crassness of the world and the beauty and holiness that is separate from it?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Incredible World of Sound Effects

Return to w00t

Based on Batiansila response, many of your kids have heard of w00t. So, the BNS and its staffers apologize for mischaracterizing the Bats as unknowledgeable when it comes to w00t. BNS did ask Kellen, who responded, "Like w00t, we won?"

So there you go. Your kids know what it is. The BNS staff is greying before your eyes. Hair is now growing from their ears and they will start eating dinner at 4:00.

ZOE UPDATE


This, ladies and gents, is Zoe.

Jen went in for her latest ultrasound today and the doctor saw the heart working fine - the defect is still there, but blood flow is good and her pulmonary artery is not thickening, which is great news.

Signs of Down's Syndrome would be a slow regression of growth. But Zoe's arms and legs are beyond where they should be! Her stomach and body weight are below normal, but the doctor was impressed by all that he said. No news is great news.

God is holding her as you all hold her up in prayer. I know of know 26 week old who has been held by so many people already. God bless you all. Merry Christmas. More news with the next scan in 4 weeks. Pray that she continues to grow.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Mormon Cult

Bat and Christa's long, long, long-time friend, Bob Barnes, spent a significant amount of time speaking out against Mormonism while he was in Utah. Pastor Barnes could tell you a lot more than this page - but it's a start.

Suffice it to say that there are pundits who have heard Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speak, and they're hoping to put Christians in the same pen with Mormons and pretend like we're just splitting hairs when we disagree. Like Wisconsin Synod Lutherans and...well, everyone.

But Mormonism is messed up. It's the kind of messed up that if I told you that Mormons believed Jesus would return someday, but it was to return to a temple in Missouri, you'd think that the Batiansila News Service had made that up.

Like made it up like any of Bat's classic killer spoofs.

Nope.

That's just part of the fun you get in to. Standing in a McDonalds doesn't make you a hamburger. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian. And putting Jesus' name in your cult's name doesn't make you a Christian, either.

Also, when asked, Mitt Romney said his favorite book was a novel written by the founder of Scientology. So, while the BNS cannot make an open endorsement without Bat and Christa's blessing, it can go this far - Bat and Christa would never, ever vote for Romney. Ever.

w00t. What? You Heard Me. w00t!

Here's BNS's stone-cold 100% lock guarantee: none of you have heard of Merriam Webster's "Word of the Year."

More And More Burdens

What will selfish people do with all their burdens? Where can they go? Thank God my parents didn't do this. Pray for everyone involved. All of them.

#1 On Google

Batblog is tops when you search "batiansila!"

Just goes to show you that if you work hard and keep blogging, you can get your blog #1 on Google! and #2.

Monday, December 10, 2007

MINTE TURNS 14

Deirdre, Minte's mother, just emailed to report that Minte has turned 14. The BNS didn't realize that people can turn 13 on one day and then 14 just a few days later. Perhaps this was the way they do it in New York, where Minte was born.

The BNS based its fact checking on shaking 15 year old Isabel Batiansila awake and asking her how old Minte was. Isabel looked shocked, then faked like she was still reading a Willa Cather novel, then mumbled "13. Didn't you just ask me that?" Who needs more fact checking than that?

So happy birthday Minte! Does this mean you turn 15 in the next few days?

Next Target: Brandon Batiansila

Brandon is Walter Batiansila's second oldest son. In 2003 he won the Teacher of the Year award and also, in this link, uses - yes - CARTOONS in his curriculum. This is all coming together. BNS will try to find a way to communicate with Brandon

Calvin and Hobbes: Snow Art

BNS is happy to report that a link to a cache of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons have been found, all dealing with snowmen. For C&H fans - or if you haven't seen the wonderful cartoon work of a true cartooning genius - (what's with BNS and cartoon genius?) click here.

The Missed Opportunity

(this is Greg's little editorial comment, also found in the link at the right)

First of all, let me come right out and say that Pastor Dorth's sermon on the Christmas story from Gabriel's view was really good. It opened my eyes to a bunch of thoughts, none more powerful than that if Mary was my daughter and told me she was made pregnant by the Holy Spirit, not only would I not believe her, I'd never believe her and I'd call her a liar.

That's the kind of unrest that very well could have been going on at Mary's home the first Christmas. (click here for more)

Why Carry More Burdens?



BNS reports that as Jen lay getting her ultrasound, Zoe swatted repeatedly at the stupid whateveritwas squishing her. The ultrasound showed her tibia and fibula, her kidneys, her brain. Her spine. Her right hand which is always close to her mouth (sucking her thumb like her daddy?)
So, it was disconcerting to hear the doctor, when talking about potential chromosomal damage, talking about "managing the pregnancy." He wasn't advising, mind you. Good guy, great doc. Just...you know. Making sure Jen and Greg were going to manage the pregnancy.

The above is a sign that our buddies at Planned Parenthood are distributing in Nigeria. I knew you wouldn't believe me, so here's the link. You see, you don't want all those burdens. Maybe you want to manage the pregnancy.

Amen!


This week's Amen. BNS wishes this was a four panel with the third panel being both people just staring at each other. Then the fourth would be the third above. That's the kind of insight you're going to get from the BNS, because every member of the BNS thinks it knows about cartoons.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Minte!


Minte (left)with cousin Teia


Minte turned 13 today. Deirdre's fourth oldest is an intelligent, responsible young woman and a special person.

Third Day Jars of Clay Christmas Concert Pictures

Jen and Greg attended the Third Day/Jars of Clay Christmas concert, which concluded with Jars and Third Day appearing onstage and performing together. Mac sang "Love Song For A Savior" while Dan sang "Love Song" and they joined in on Blue Christmas. Wonderful show. Enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ethan's Christmas Program




Here's some great video of Ethan's Christmas Program. BNS reports that St. John's West Bend is smart and has its program melded with an Advent service.
video

Christmas Tree Tales PICTURES



BNS has received this link to pictures that would help to illuminate the previous Christmas Tree cutting post....

Number 4

This is a great QB.
Pretty funny guy.
A great man.
The room got kinda dusty for the BNS while the last one was being viewed. Could have been allergies.

Tracey's Twins

Tracey's recent ultrasound. Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go? Indescribable.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Robot Press Update

This from Christa/Omi/Mom...Martina's robot television story has been pushed back to January 3. Although not confirmed, this may be because of the writer's strike. Martina has been forced to write all her own material instead of leaning heavily on her staff of writers.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Kellen's Line

Kellen's line from his first freshman game: 17 points, 6 boards, 2 assists. That'll do.

More Press on Martina's Robots

Channel 2 - WBAY TV in Green Bay - where Greg interned back in the day* - is running a story on Martina's robots at 4, 5, and 10 tomorrow. I think. Stay tuned, and BNS will see if there's a link that we can find.

*Two interesting notes: 1. One guy who sat in the newsroom while Greg worked, sometimes working, but sometimes talking on the phone with his wife, was Kevin Rompa. Kevin would sometimes turn to Greg and say, "Greg, don't hate me because I'm beautiful." Kevin also advised Greg to not get into the news business, advice Greg took and went on to fame as a member of 98 Degrees. No, wait. After toiling for years at a bunch of jobs, Greg found people who will pay him to essentially do nothing more than walk into an office and do what he would have done for free. Please do not tell Greg's employers this. 2. Mipps is currently in week 4 of dating this Channel 2 luminary. This puts her in the lead. Much like Pat Robertson at CBN, BNS does not officially endorse candidates for Mipps, but as a private citizen, holds no opinions until we can verify the whole pig thing.

Christmas Tree Tales

BNS reports that Greg and his family had been wandering the aisles at the Christmas tree farm and had gathered around a tree. It was perfect. They call their trees "he." So, he was perfect - not those itchy, toxic needles, a nice straight top. Full on the bottom, well shaped. No bad side. "What do you think?" Jen asked. There was a lot of silence.

They walked back to the other one, the one that they had just walked from. It had, as one of the kids described, a "Dr. Seuss" top, as if when you weren't watching, a town of needle-high Whos might start singing and dancing on it. Parts of it - er, him - looked like he had just woken up and didn't have time to quick run some water through his branches, which were growing kinda sideways. And there is definitely a bad side. Of him. It's the side they spun towards the corner when they put him up.

He made them laugh when they found him, and he makes them laugh when they look at him today. He fits right in with everyone else in the house.

BNS also reports that Christa came home with a beautiful tree that Phil helped put in the stand. It was the right kind of tree, with the needles that don't hurt when you touch them. Unfortunately, the needles also all fell off. All of them. BNS thinks that when you return those trees to the farm, they must be lit on fire and left on the front lawn.

Teia, Izzi and Brennick's Choir

As mentioned earlier, Living Word's A Capella choir have a recording online! I think this was actually recorded last year, but its nice...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Heidi: Dancer, Communicator

The following was sent to the little-used BNS email address on Saturday:

The "Christmas Window" opens tomorrow night, with performances tomorrow, 2 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday and next weekend as well.

This was sent last week to your avicom address but could not be delivered due to content. We are half way thru with many, many positive comments. What a blessing to be part of this. hid


There's lots to talk about here. Heidi mentioned that this performance contains Cirque de Soleil performers and a rendition of Disney's "Be Our Guest." Something tells me Carl Bornemann might have passed on this one.

In addition, what kind of emails is HKBD sending that are getting rejected due to content? What kind of salacious comments or crude words is she writing? We'll never know.

Rosie The Endometriosis Robot

The people have spoken, and they say that the robot that helped Martina and Paul was most like Rosie from the Jetsons. Which is ridiculous. The BNS is demanding a recount.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Who Has Told Every Lighting Bolt Where It Should Go?

Jeffrey Overstreet, media critic for Christianity Today, answered some questions about the Golden Compass and even addressed - gasp - HARRY POTTER. That's right. Really intriguing stuff.

I saw this video over the weekend, and honestly I'm not sure BNS should share it. But honestly, it's just so unthoughtful, so laughable that I put it on the same par with Golden Compass. Do these men really even pretend to understand the Jesus who loved me when no one else did? Who thought of me while He hung on the cross?

Do these men understand who God is? They think of Him as an old man, or a bunch of angry people. They don't know one molecule of God. I saw Louie Giglio speak this past summer and...I was so moved. So floored. I know this is long. Please, please do BNS a solid and take the time to listen to him remind you of our INDESCRIBABLE GOD. A God who loves you.

Indescribable - Louis Giglio



Indescribable

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untamable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untamable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untamable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
INCOMPARABLE, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

Beethoven's Ninth

Jen's brother, Josh (Greg's Brother-In-Law), just performed Beethoven's Ninth with the Milwaukee Chorus this weekend - he even had a small solo part and has received accolades for it. That's an 80 minute piece with several movements. All the Batiansila News service can confirm is that the fourth movement is at the end of "Diehard." Here's a newspaper review of the symphony and choir's performance.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Amen


Amen for this week
...Is that too close to St. Paul's inside? Will someone complain? It is missing the Jesus behind the cross. And the mural paintings on the walls.

CUZ CHAT IS BACK: Teia Interviews Alexis!

Teia if you could have any superpower...what would it be?

Alexis to b able to become invisible at will

Teia yeah. thats definitely an awesome one.

Intrigued? Click here for more

The Recipe That Wow'ed 'Em At Thanksgiving: Crawfish Corn Bisque

1 Cup Chopped Onion
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 (16 Ounce) Cans Whole Kernel Corn, gently chopped in food processor
1/2 Cup Diced Green Bell Peppers
1 Quart Heavy Cream
3 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes
2 Pounds Crawfish Meat
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Water

Saute' onion in butter until tender. Add corn and bell pepper, and cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Add heavy cream, salt, and next 3 ingredients; cook for 15 minutes. Stir in crawfish and cook for 5 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water, mixing well. Thicken bisque with cornstarch mixture.

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