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Saturday, March 29, 2014

NOAH the movie: What I liked, what I didn't and, if I was the director, what I would have done different.


SPOILER ALERT
(If you haven't seen the movie... 
this post could wreck it for you) 

Now that I got that out of the way, I can go on with the blog post.  Today was the opening day of NOAH.  My hubby and I went to see it in IMAX for our 5th anniversary date. This blog isn't really a platform for movie reviews, but I figured I would make an exception for NOAH.  ( I'm a Russell Crowe fan.)


I am going to split my comments up into three segments as mentioned in
the blog post title. I am going to say I give NOAH 4.5 out of 5 stars... and here is why.

WHAT I LIKED


1. Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins.  It was nice to see some big names in the movie. Phenomenal actors... all of them.  Crowe and Connelly were paired up in one of my favourite movies "Beautiful Mind".  It was a treat to see them back on the screen together. 

2.  I liked the inclusion of Methuselah in the story.  I figured out years ago, after doing the some math in Genesis, that Methuselah would have been alive when Noah built the ark.  I often imagined Noah having his grandpa around for moral support while he was building the ark.  


3. The Watchers.  They added more to the story line even through they were a creative diversion of the director.   Maybe Aronofsky (director, producer and script writer) had the Nephalim in mind when he created their characters... maybe.  They kind of reminded me of the Transformers.  I liked how they helped with boat building and protected them at night and during the attack.

4.  There were no atheists. Everyone acknowledged the Creator.  Even the descendants of Seth.  Everyone knew where they came from, even if the relationship was significantly strained.  


5. Sleeping animals.  That was insightful.  How else would Noah have dealt with that many animals for almost a year?  Think food, water, sewage and rampant breeding... I think God putting them out for the duration of the journey would have been the way to go. 

6.  Seth's wife was brought into the family as an adopted orphan.  Nice touch. 


7. I really liked how the Creation story was included. 

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE.

1.  I didn't like it when Na'el was killed.  Noah could have pulled the trap and saved her.  He saved Ila.  It did however remind me that sometimes we can muck up God's provision. 

2. Tubal Cain didn't belong on the ark.  I am thinking that Aronofsky was looking for more conflict scenes for the end of the movie... but I am sure he could have done well with Noah's psychosis.  He didn't need Tubal-Cain for that. 

3. Ham and Japheth didn't have wives or potential wives.  The end leaves you to believe that Ham dies alone and Japheth has to marry one of his nieces.  That is just weird. 


4.  Noah's brushcut.  I wonder what they used for razors in the day to get such a uniform cut.  It lacked authenticity.    


5. The music during the final credits depressed me. 

6. The flood waters hit and Noah was still outside the boat.  It reminded me of Harrison Ford hanging out of the plane on Air Force One.  It also makes it look like God's got bad timing.  


IF I WAS THE DIRECTOR, WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENT. 

1.  Na'el would have made it on the boat (with a little sister at the last minute, a playmate/future wife for Japheth) ... and Tubal Cain would have been treading water. 

2. Noah would have make it in the boat before the flood water hit.  


3. Japheth would have insisted that he keep a pet dog awake for the trip. 

4. There would have been no smoke stack.  It seemed out of place.  There would have been enough heat created by the animals.  They didn't need a wood stove on the ark. Major fire hazard, too. 

5. Methuselah wouldn't have drowned.  I would have had him die shortly before the ark was finished with Noah or his grandsons at his deathbed.  


6. I would have included Ham in the final scene.  


There you have it.  My honest thoughts on the movie.  I am glad I saw it.  Hollywood is taking on the Bible... How cool is that!!!  Why get tied up in knots on the details?  


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jesus for Supper: The Food that Sticks

 At this, the Jews started fighting among themselves: "How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?"
 But Jesus didn’t give an inch. "Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you.  The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you.  In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always."
John 6: 52-58


Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.”Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.”
Luke 22:17


Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them: Drink this, all of you. This is my blood, God’s new covenant poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.  “I’ll not be drinking wine from this cup again until that new day when I’ll drink with you in the kingdom of my Father.”
Matthew 26:27b-29


"Eat my flesh, Drink my blood."  Not exactly what Jesus' disciples were expecting to here from him.  Jesus was consistently messing with the minds of his followers and especially he messed with the religious folk.  I have heard so many sermons on some of these passages over the years.  I know there are oceans of pastors and theologians that have tackled these passages in sermons and dissertations.  There are libraries full of books that dissect this very subject.  

This is my blog.. This is my deduction.  

  Jesus was a poet. 

Jesus liked metaphors; but his audience didn't seem to know what a metaphor was.  Maybe his compadres missed the day they taught creative writing in Sabbath School.  King David was a poet.  If David was around the campfire with Jesus, he would have understood.  He is the one who was commended for having a heart after God.  

Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see-how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.
Psalm 34:8

Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but God-seekers are full of God.
Psalm 34:10


I understand the power of a picture.  That is why I like inserting pictures into my blog posts.  I know without them, I would be the one to lose attention, never mind my readers.  Our brains are visual.  We see, taste, hear, feel, and smell.  That is is how we process information.  

Jesus also understood the power of a picture.  Over and over again he adds pictures to what he is trying to communicate. 

"I am the Bread of Life."
"I am the Good Shepherd."
"I am the Gate for the sheep."
"I am the Living Water."

Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst-not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life."
John 4:13-14


Jesus gave us  Earth's pictures to illustrate Heaven's truth. We, as humans,  understand food and drink to be the fuel that keeps our bodies alive. Without food and drink, we would be dead.  There is no growth or life without it.    

Jesus wasn't looking for a following of people.  He wasn't looking for fans that admired his miracles.  Jesus wanted to be supper.  He wanted to be ingested.  The pictures he gave in the story of the Gospels prove that.  Jesus came to be our Bread and our Water... our sustenance, our existence, our very life.  

Jesus is the Food that Sticks!!!!


"Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last."

John 6:27



(All scripture references in this post are taken from The Message) 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Blog thought: WARNING LABELS: Should I attach one to my blog?


I have often wondered if I need to affix a warning label of some kind to my blog or to my blog posts. 


I figure that when someone comes across something I write, they have two choices. 

1. Read it
2. Don't read it. 

If they don't read it.  No worries. 


If they do read it, they now have three choices. 

1. Ignore it
2. Enjoy it
3. Get offended. 


If they choose the third option.  
They now have two choices. 

1. Comment.
2. Don't comment.

If they choose to comment, 
and let me know how offended they are at my writing, 
they have the  freedom to do so. 

I have allowed them that freedom.  



Now the choice is mine.  

1. I can ignore their comments.
2. I can take their comments to heart and get discouraged
3. I can appreciate their honesty and chose to understand their position and respond back with grace. 

THEN I WILL REMEMBER TO POST WARNING SIGNS NEXT TIME!!!  



Blog thought: "If no one read the words I write... would I still write?"

I guess that question would lead into the whole discussion about my purpose for writing.  

Mmmmm... 

Let's start with a list.  I like lists. 


REASONS I WRITE:

1. Because I can. 
2. Because I have something to say.
3. Writing helps me to sort my thoughts. 
4. I have a vivid imagination
5. Writing is, for the most part, uninterrupted. 
6. It's relaxing.
7. It's fun.
8. It exercises my courage. 
9. I want to be understood. 
10 Sometimes I have something to share that encourages others. 
11. I feel good when I read or hear that someone else appreciates something I have written. 
12. I communicate better with writing, than I do orally. 

There you have it.  Twelve reasons for writing and only the last three need an audience.  

Let's get more specific.  


REASONS I BLOG: 

1. It's a cheaper method of publishing.
2. No editors. (That sometimes is a good thing) 
3. Again, It exercises my courage.
4. Because I have something to say.
5. I have freedom of speech. (Canadian perk) 
6. I write about issues that I don't feel free to talk about.
7. It is a quicker way of communicating my thoughts and ideas. 
8. I want to talk about the "elephants in the room"; the "hot button issues"
9. Again,  I want to be understood. 
10. Because I have the freedom to, I blog.


So to answer my question posed in the Blog title... Yes, I would continue to write even if there wasn't an audience.  As much as I like the appreciation, it is not the focus of my writing.  


Monday, March 3, 2014

Losing my parent's religion: The inevitable train wreck


I don't believe too many children deliberately set out to sabotage their parents beliefs.  

Those train wrecks (from a head-on collision) are few and far between. 


 There are, however, derailments.  


***

 This is a crack in a train wheel.


This is a crack in a train track.


 Maybe they seem like nothing...
 but cracks like this that go unnoticed can result in--

Derailed train cars burn in Plaster Rock, N.B., on Wednesday, Jan.8, 2014. 
To read more:  
New Brunswick Train wreck
Get the picture.  The train wreck in my life wasn't a head on collision.  I wasn't going in the opposite direction as my parents. (I'm not that confrontational).   I was part of same train as my folks and my car slipped off the track due to a crack somewhere. From the visual analogy... if it was a head on collision there would have been much less collateral damage.  At least in a head-on, the train sees the oncoming traffic and makes an attempt to slow down.  With a derailment, the train is usually going it's normal speed.  


BOOM!!!  



 Here's a quote from my blog:


"I wonder just how someone can understand how painful this journey can be... unless they have walked that road themselves. And having walked that road, they can understand and can feel things like loneliness, doubt, guilt, shame, betrayal, condemnation, rejection, disappointment, confusion, regret, remorse, anger, judgement... from and towards themselves, others and even at times...  God."

We all start out in life as train cars that are being pulled along the track of life by the engine (our parents). As children we go along with what they tell us and what they teach us.  As we get closer to our teen and young adult years, some of us start to doubt.  We don't want to buy what our parents have been trying to sell us. When the train car isn't willing to follow the same rail as the engine, it goes off track.  And because it is still tied to the rest of the train, it will put the whole line off the track.  

This is the picture that is displayed over and over again in families around the world.  This is what Religion has done.  Religion is responsible for the train wrecks.  



***
I don't have an easy answer, solution or fix for this.  We are born in to families, raised with families and given what we are given by the ones that raise us... because that is what they have to give us.  It is part of the human experience.  So I don't think I can conclude this post with a "how-to" on preventing train wrecks in your family... but I might be able to give you something to help with the cleanup. 

This is for the children (younger or older) who feel like they are responsible for their family's train derailment. 

 Even if your family is Muslim, Mormon, Mennonite or Methodist... or in my case Lutheran... these cleanup tips will help. 


1. LOVE

LOVE is the best disaster relief available to the human heart.  Learn what real LOVE is. Ask your Creator to manifest His LOVE in you. Don't give up on LOVE.  It is the ultimate and it will get you through this... somehow.  


2. UNDERSTAND

Understand that the reason for the train wreck is because your parents love you.  If your parents didn't love you, they would have unhitched your car from the rest of the train when you derailed and kept going down the track without you.  The train derailed because they wanted you to remain attached to the family train.


3. FORGIVE

Forgiveness is very powerful.  Not easy, but powerful.  There is no real hope of healing the wounds inflicted in your family without it.  


4. FIND THE COMMON GROUND

This may not always be easy either.  I noticed once my family and I started losing the Lutheran connection, it took some time, but we started focusing on the Jesus connection.  We still have Jesus in common. Now... instead of a train moving so predictably down the track. Now we are more like sheep following our Shepherd.  Much less collateral damage that way. 




If you are a parent, and your child has chosen to "abandon" your religion.  The same four apply. 

Just try to understand that your children are trying to love you even if they don't agree with your convictions anymore.  


BUT...

If your religion, your doctrine, your stuff is more important than your children, then there will can no LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, FORGIVENESS OR COMMON GROUND.