Archive for category Family
I WAS ONCE TOLD THAT;
REALLY? DOES HE NEED GLASSES? MEANWHILE;
FOR SURE. SOME PEOPLE ARE BADDER THAN OTHERS. BUT IN REALITY;
PRIDE = LUST, GLUTTONY, GREED, SLOTH, WRATH, ENVY. THE EGO.
Yes, I did. I didn’t expect to. One of my wife’s patients gave it to her. She was insistent that we watch it, and out of respect for her we did.
A church in Georgia produced the movie and aside from Kirk Cameron, the actors were all amateurs, enlisted from the congregation. Cameron does a pretty good job (good acting is something I rarely see in these homegrown Evangelical films) but the rest of the cast did a lot better than you would expect from such inexperience. Essentially the movie is built around a real marriage guide called the “Love Dare” which is available on the website as well as in bookstores.
Production values were high, the sound track was decent and the dialogue believable. It was good to see Christians addressing the issue of divorce, which is like the elephant in the middle of the sanctuary. Christian marriages, on the whole, last no longer than secular ones; about half end up in divorce. Even if you are not an Evangelical or even a Christian, there is really good advice in this movie for all married couples.
A couple things I could have done without: the gratuitous references to Hell (but much fewer than the title of the movie would suggest) could have been left out. They probably turned some folks off the movie (they almost caused me to turn off the TV) and that is a shame because the main thrust of the movie is so good. And the house that Cameron’s character lived in with his wife was too much of an expensive mansion to be believable as a firehouse captain’s home. I realize the home site was donated by a local builder but it was jarring inconsistency. But then again, every character in just about every Hollywood film seems to live in Bel Air or Beverly Hills or some type of hip warehouse conversion in Manhattan.
Good flick. See it. Or visit the website. Now, I might have to check out “Facing the Giants”.
While looking for fundamentalist arguments against Halloween, I was surprised to find a very sensible article on the subject by Andy Freeman, over on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network website. I present you with the piece in it’s entirety. It’s called The Enemy’s Victory: Darkened Homes and Harvest Parties.
I realize this column is going to bring down the wrath of Preacher, teacher, and parent alike. But someone has to break the illusion. Here goes.
The biggest trick played on Halloween is Christian kids and adults being bottled up inside churches or homes all night. That’s right! Hiding from the devil in the family life center and surrendering the neighborhood to little Ghouls, goblins, and witches is a victory for old Beelzebub. He’s got the church right where he wants it: inside the four walls, hunkered down behind the stained glass.
Think about it. How many chances do you get to mix with our neighbors during the year? At my house we are blessed with a 4th of July block party. Otherwise, Halloween may be it for many of you. And what is your relationship evangelism strategy? Either hustle the kids over to church before nightfall or worse, you turn out the lights, don’t answer the children at the door, thereby demonstrating your Christian love and hospitality. But if you do encounter a child in a pink bunny costume it goes something like this:
“We don’t celebrate Halloween! There’s no candy here for you, kid! Now get out of here”.
And the parents of the pink bunny waiting at the foot of your sidewalk say:
“Boy, honey. There’s something really different about that mean family that sits in the dark every Halloween. I really want what they have in their life.”
Isn’t it time to turn loose a few of those little Moses and Davids into your community?
Imagine the shock when an Angel instead of a devil greets the nice lady down the block. A child who says “please”, “thank you” and yes, even “Jesus loves you” and “God bless you” as they receive their mini-Snickers or Candy corn. And please, please, please you well-meaning brethren: give the kids that come to your door the best candy treat on the entire block along with that tract. Some of you give six years olds a little “be warm and filled” treatment every Halloween. Give them something sweet for the palate as well as the soul.
Never forget: Jesus came to serve the sick and broken. He loved being at the well, by the sea, and in the marketplace. He would never have said “run and hide, its Halloween!”
Don’t teach children to fear Satan. Help them understand Christ has overcome the world. He has made us victors in Him. He loves all of His creation.
Remember what He said:
” You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket (or in a dark house, or at a harvest party with church kids)! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father”. Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus wants us to engage our neighbors and culture not hide from them this October 31st.
On one of the earlier threads there was some disagreement over the true meaning of certain scriptural passages. (I must be kidding, right? Here?) It seemed like we kept going around and around and around. I was suddenly reminded of another issue that keeps me going around and around and around; Christmas.
I’ve always loved this time of year, I probably even loved it more when I didn’t have a faith (but that’s another story). But I am not too crazy about getting all the kitsch down from the attic, setting them up and then having to clean it all up in January. I especially don’t like having to trim the tree. It is a lot of work.
I used to spend a considerable amount of time making sure that every single strand of tiny lights was evenly distributed on each branch, like my father had taught me. Soon enough I learned how to stand about six feet away and toss the lights on like a fisherman casting his net. What a time saver.
I’ve always preferred the little tasteful white lights, like the ones we had growing up in my house. Bev, though, hails from a tradition that celebrated with gaudy multi-colored lights. She was raised Lutheran and I Catholic. In the ecumenical spirit we agreed to blend both types of lights and 25 years later I can’t even imagine of not having it both ways.
Some people accuse me of wanting to have it ‘both ways’ when it comes to how I relate to God. I can see value in most faith traditions and I hesitate to say if someone is not with God even though they may respond to him differently than I do. I consider myself a Christian but many have challenged me on this. Apparently some think that it is impossible to hold a more tolerant point of view and still maintain a faith in Jesus.
Usually our arguments will boil down to the essence of where we disagree – Holy Scripture. Someone may place more emphasis on a certain verse than I do. I might be inspired by something completely different. With both of us concentrating on what we each hold most dear, we end up stalled and (at best) agreeing to disagree. But that can be so unsatisfying.
But back to the tree. Typically, when we decorate ours, each family member devotes his or her efforts to their specific parts of the tree. When the children were
small they concentrated on the low hanging branches while I would be teetering on the stool near the tree top as my wife would finessed the all important mid-section. Even then, some would stray more towards one side of the tree over the other. Many times the kids would hang balls or ornaments in the ‘wrong’ places, out near the ends of the branches where they sagged (or too far inside where they could hardly be seen). This would drive me nuts but over time I learned to bite my tongue, for the sake of family harmony.
When all was hung, when the boxes were empty, we would take a few steps back to review our handiwork. After a few moments Bev would say, “Well? Does it pass the squint test?”. To my surprise, it always did.
Standing in close to the tree all I can see are the individual ornaments of different shapes, colors and sizes and where each are placed. The occasional broken branches and bare spots are starkly visible. I am painfully aware of the ‘mistakes’ of my children. Though these mistakes cried out to me for fixing, in order to make ‘more sense’, I eventually learned to accept their places in the overall scheme of things.
But when I move back a bit, taking in the whole tree and, perhaps softening my focus just a little, I make out the image of a beautiful, bright and colorful Christmas tree. All the intricate and and glistening ornaments, each of them with their own story of Christmases past, work together to create this wonderful creation. Even those deep and dark recesses where the lights do not reach suggest mysterious areas worthy of future discovery.
Our family’s joint venture speaks in a slightly different tone of voice to each person that meets it, evoking memories and feelings that cannot always be expressed. The ‘imperfect’ yet natural shape, the ‘inaccurate’ placement of the balls, the ornaments that range from big and shiny to small and fragile – each element works together to present a perfect whole. A bit different every time, though each observer will agree that the overall shape is always the same, and the spirit that this shape evokes is shared by all.