Sunday, November 29, 2009


Isaiah 60:1-3
"Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the LORD will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising."

I am forever thankful that God opened the eyes of this Gentile to His glory and mercy and grace. May I never lose the wonder of His grace, the wonder of the Cross that purchased redemption for even me, a Gentile who was lost in darkness and bound by sin, until He graciously opened my heart to His salvation. There is no other name given among men by which we may be saved, but Jesus Christ alone. He is our hope, our redeemer, our salvation, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and only through Him may we come to the Father, only by faith in Him, covered by His blood, hid in Christ, may we be reconciled to God. Jesus is my faithful High Priest, my Advocate, and I am so very, very thankful to be grafted in to the life He gives through faith. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Thoughts Upon Watching Another Classic Movie

So, we watched Dr. Zhivago a couple of evenings this week (that thing is loooong, took us more than one night to finish it). We’ve been watching some classics recently – some we had never seen or seen so long ago we couldn’t remember them, and Drew brought this home for us since he’d never seen it. I remember watching it once as a young girl, but didn’t remember a whole lot of it, so it was fun to watch it with Drew.

I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I often find when I watch movies that are talked about as great movies or that are still popular today and show up on a lot of people's favorite lists, often I don’t get why they are considered classics. Citizen Kane was one of those for me. At the end of that one Drew and I looked at each other and said, “That was it? Big deal.” I know it’s famous for some new directorial things or whatever, but, still, I don’t get it. I also don’t get the big deal about The Graduate (sorry, Dad.). The music in that one is great, the movie, I didn’t so much like. Maybe I need to watch it again now that I'm grown up? The reason I was saying anything about it on Facebook was because we had just watched Rebel Without a Cause. (I almost typed without a Clue…..) I was not impressed. At all. Another one where we looked at each other and said, “That was it?” Cheesy music, cheesy acting, story line and dialogue I had trouble buying into. I’m thinking that one is popular because James Dean died shortly after it was released.

So, I guess I am old movie challenged. There are some I have loved, so I’m not all that bad. The African Queen comes to mind, as do many of the Alfred Hitchcock movies and Casablanca and Ben Hur so my taste isn’t totally ruined, I guess.

Anyway, unlike Rebel Without a Cause, I do see why Dr. Zhivago has staying power and is considered a classic. Better acting, MUCH better music (though we were both REALLY tired of Lara’s Theme by the end), great and memorable sets and filming, and a sweeping story set against a dramatic historical backdrop. I don’t know a whole lot about the Russian Revolution, so that is interesting to me.

However, as supposedly one of the best love stories of all time, I have something against it. I just didn’t get what was so great about Lara that he was willing to risk losing everything to be with her. And he did lose everything. He wasn’t even unhappy in his marriage. I’m not sure he married his wife because he was madly in love with her, more that it seemed to be the expected thing and he was the kind of guy who did what was expected of him. But he DID marry her and had a child with her and another on the way. She loved him and was faithful to him and was a good wife. We’re supposed to see him as noble, if a bit naive, and a likable character, and I did like him right up until the point where he cheats on his very pregnant, very faithful wife. Prior to that, Drew and I were speculating that maybe she would die in childbirth and that was how he ended up with Lara, and we kept thinking he seemed too honorable to actually cheat on his wife. But nope. So, I had a hard time being very moved by this grand love affair thing. I kept wanting him to do the right thing. (Unimportant and unnecessary aside: Of course he picks the blond-haired, blue-eyed woman over his beautiful brunette wife. Said bitterly by the brunette writing this post.)

Even in the end, he didn’t even really love Lara, because he didn’t go after her. He just let her go off with that horrid man, and, as far as we the viewers know, didn’t even bother to try to find out whatever happened to her. Blech.

I’m thinking the book is probably better. If I ever get around to reading it, I am sure there is more characterization and detail than the movie is able to provide, and it might make more sense. Then again, I’m not sure I really care all that much. But at least I do see why this movie has staying power. I actually cared enough about the characters and story to be bothered by it enough to write a blog post. And a story that can draw you in to where you actually care about what happens to the people and that you keep thinking about for a long time after reading or watching it makes for a good story, even if you don't really like the people or the choices they make all that much.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hard to Feel Much Sympathy

Apparently the man who took it upon himself to shoot soldiers at Ft. Hood may be paralyzed. In light of the fact that the family members of his victims have lost, will have to spend the rest of their lives grieving the loss of, their husbands, fathers, wives, etc., I'm not sure I can gather up much sympathy that he may have permanently lost the use of his legs. I know that as Christians, we are not to seek revenge, and I'm not saying what I'm saying out of a sense of vengence. I am also not saying that we should not pray for this man, in the hope that he will one day hear and respond to the Good News of salvation found in Jesus Christ alone. We should pray for him. He is lost, and that should grieve our hearts. I'm just saying, I don't think there will be much sympathy if the spokemen for this man happen to be looking for any. He chose to do a despicable thing. He is not a victim. I'm not too sorry for him at all that he now has serious consequences to face.

And, for the record, those family members of his who keep insisting that he is a 'good American??' I beg to differ. A 'good American' does not walk into an Army base and shoot and kill and injure his brothers in arms, his fellow military members. No, a good American does not do such things. As an Army wife, I ache for those who have lost loved ones in this terrible act.

And another thing, it seems to be coming to light that there were warning signs all over the place about this man, and that people were afraid to report them or further investigate them for fear of being 'crucified' for doing so, for fear of being shut down and accused of profiling. There is something very wrong with the whole political correctness mindset that led to him being allowed to continue and not be investigated fully. I am so tired of being told that profiling is wrong. It would have saved a bunch of lives in this case. I am also really tired of hearing that a certain religion is a religion of peace so we need to not profile. If someone in the type of position this man held is making the kinds of statements he is reported to have been making, then those who have the authority to investigate him should have the freedom to do so to the best of their ability, without being accused of 'profiling.' It isn't profiling if he's giving legitimate reason for concern. If he's innocent, great, they will find that out. If not, maybe they would be able to prevent something like this or worse from happening again, but apparently we're so concerned about political correctness that we'd rather tie the hands of those who would investigate these kinds of threats than we are about protecting innocent people.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Music

While practicing our choir Christmas music this afternoon, which is very worshipful, I find I am in a weird place regarding Christmas this year. I love the lights and the decorations and, most especially, the wonder and worship of Christmas - the reminder of God With Us, our Immanuel, and that's the part I look forward to. If allowed to focus on our great and awesome God and His immense grace in coming to redeem us, in coming to live among us and do for us what we could not do and reconciling us to Himself through the cross and His resurrection, Christmas can almost undo me, in a good way. I love that the beauty of the story does not end with the angels singing to the shepherds on that night in Bethlehem, and it does not end with the wonder of the Baby born in the stable, and it doesn’t end with the majesty of the wise men coming and bringing gifts to the Child and bowing in worship before Him. That is beautiful and glorious, yes.

But the wonder of Christmas is that in fulfilling all the prophecy of a coming Messiah, the manger looks forward to the Cross. Jesus came to redeem us to Himself. He endured the humility of taking on human flesh and living among a people who did not recognize Who He was, who refused to see and repent when He confronted their false and corrupted traditions that mocked the God they claimed to serve, and who eventually turned on Him and spit on Him and humiliated Him to such a point that He suffered the humiliation and shame of a gruesome Roman cross. And as He did so, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And when He died, He triumphantly cried, “It is finished!” and the Temple veil was torn top to bottom. For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, the way is open to God the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. He rose again on the third day, death is conquered, by His stripes, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, and He is our Great Shepherd.

So, I love the wonder of Christmas. I am not a scrooge. My oldest son gets to be in the drama part of the Christmas musical this year, and our youth minister has written a wonderful drama to go with our choir music. I love the part my son gets to play. It will add much to our celebration and point our eyes to our King this December.

But I don't so much like the hustle and shopping and trying to decide what to get for everyone without overdoing it. That’s where I’m feeling a little scroogish. That part I'm not so much looking forward to this year, and wish I didn't feel so panicked about it already. This year, especially, I am dreading the material celebration of Christmas, and I’m trying to tone it down. I’ll go shopping, but I don’t want that to be our focus. We have not done as well with that in years past. Thankfully, the economy is helping us with that this year, too.

Anyway, I really enjoyed practicing my Christmas music this afternoon. May I keep the reason for the season in the forefront this year.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

One More Post Before I Break

I know, I am taking a blogging break. But I have to get this post out first.

Does anyone else find this to be true? For all that I want to be biblically minded and want to be growing in Christ, how is it that I still continue to do such colossally stupid, unkind, ugly things sometimes? In fact, I fear the hypocrite in me. At the time I thought I was just venting and in the okay, only to realize that I had made a rather blatant misunderstanding and spouted off in the wrong way and really messed up. I can even tell you several scripture passages I violated this afternoon. Me and my stupid, stupid words and my stupid, stupid too quick to speak, too slow to think.

The thing I want to do, I didn’t do today, and the thing I don’t want to do, I did. And it’s a direct result of spending too much time on the computer when I should have been doing something else. Hence the break. I’ll be back, I just need to get my time prioritized better first.

Blogging Break

I am taking a break from blogging for a little while. I haven't yet determined how long, but I'll be back eventually. Need to focus on something other than the computer for a bit.