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Do You Remember When?

March 30, 2016 5 comments

Do you remember when you first had the dream?  The dream of something greater than your could imagine? So great than you could barely comprehend what it meant at all, much less what it truly meant?

Do you remember when it first went wrong?  Was it when you shared the dream?  Was it when you got the robe?  Was it when you were thrown in the pit?  Was it when you were sold into slavery?

Do you remember what it felt like to feel safe?  To be bought by a kind soldier and his wife?  To be entrusted with the household.  To pick yourself up from nothing and be back on the path to success?  To  have another dream perhaps?

Do you remember when it went wrong again?  Did you notice when she first began to take notice of you?  Did she begin to flirt with you?  Did you notice her gaze?  Did you expect her to invite you into her intimacy?  Did you expect to be charged with taking advantage of her?

Do you remember what it was like to be in jail?  To be a model prisoner?  To gain some power and influence in jail?  To interpret the dreams?  To have hopes to get out?  To wait and wait and wait to be remembered?  To be picked?  To interpret HIS dream?

Do you remember what it was like to rise to power?  To be given the power of a king?  To hold a nation’s life and death in your hands?  To save millions of lives?  To save the lives of other countries?

Do you remember what it was like to see them enter?  To see them bow before you?  To see your father again, kneeling in front of you?  To see your dream brought to fruition?

*****

Do you remember thinking God was through with you?  That your life was over?  That you were stalled forever?  That you were topped out?  That there was nowhere to turn, nowhere to go?

Do you remember long ago what you wanted to be?  Do you remember how you got where you are?  Do you remember where you want to go?

Do you remember your dream?

 

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: ,

10 Spoiler Filled Reasons I Loved Batman vs. Superman

March 28, 2016 2 comments

I went to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice this past weekend.  It was a movie that I have been waiting decade for, as I mentioned last week in a post.  It has been lambasted by critics.  It isn’t a perfect movie, but I loved it.  Here are the reasons why.  Beware, there are spoilers below.

  1. It isn’t a Marvel movie.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Marvel movies.  I basically love all comic book movies.  However, Marvel follows their formula and you can tell each movie is, well, a Marvel movie.  Warner Brothers, DC Films and Zack Snyder went in a complete different direction.  And, I think, this is one reason the critics have hated it.  I am, however, glad to have some diversity in my comic book movies.
  2. We get the real Batman.  Critics have ripped the movie for lack of character development.  My theory is that you don’t really get character development in team-up movies.  However, the one character that is developed is Batman.  Why?  Superman had his own movie three years ago.  This is a totally different Batman from Nolan’s Batman.  He’s older.  He’s bitter.  He’s cynical.  He’s Frank Miller’s Batman from the classic The Dark Knight Returns.  He’s ticked off and beware to anyone that gets in his way, even if he is from Krypton.
  3. Wonder Woman.  Need I say more?  This isn’t Lynda Carter’s star spangled, red, white and blue Amazon.  Not, this is one that has seen a lot and is a warrior.  She is much closer to Xena than the 1970’s TV version.  She can hold her own with anyone it seems.
  4. Lex Luthor.  For the most part, villains have been been boring most comic book movies.  You can’t say that about Jesse Eisenberg’s interpretation of Alexander Luthor, son of the original Lex Luthor.  This is spoiled, arrogant, brilliant young man.  He is the smartest guy in the room and he knows it.  And he doesn’t care to let you know he knows it.  Sure, it’s quirky, but what do you want?  Gene Hackman’s or Kevin Spacey’s version?
  5. Dream sequence.  You have the Flash invading one of Batman’s dream to warn of him of what is coming in the future.  This is a nod to one of the greatest comic book stories of all time, 1986’s Crisis on Inifinite Earths.
  6. Knightmare.  Batman is truly scared of the future that could come with Superman.  We have to remember that Superman is still relatively new on the scene.  Imagine if a super powerful alien suddenly began exhibiting all sorts of powers and duked it out with other powerful beings, destroying whole swaths of cities.  It might concern many of us.
  7. Darkseid is coming.  Omega symbols.  Parademons.  Mother boxes.  Darkseid, THE big bad of the DC universe, all over the place and they don’t even mention his name.
  8. The Setup.  This movie sets up at least six other movies coming in the DC Universe.  You have Justice League, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman.  Not to mention a Batman movie with that Robin outfit.  Bring on those other movies (starting with Suicide Squad in August).
  9. Easter eggs.  Perry White mentions that it’s not 1938 anymore.  This was a reference to when Superman was created, which is what I have to say when people say that Superman isn’t like he used to be.  It’s isn’t 1938.  It isn’t the 1950’s or 1978.  It’s 2016 and Superman is different that he used to be.
  10. They KILLED Superman!!! I wan’t expecting this one.  As one who reads so much about these movies ahead of time, I’m often just getting to see what I already know.  I didn’t see this one coming.  Now, is Superman going to stay dead?  No way.  However, for the most part, people find Superman boring.  One way to eliminate the boring is to kill him.  This will allow Batman to form the Justice League and for Superman to show up and help them out.

Look, I haven’t watched a movie yet that was perfect.  This one wasn’t.  However, it was everything I wanted and more.  I can’t wait to see it again and then the Ultimate Cut on video later.

Have you seen this movie?  Are you going to see it?

Why Listen To Movie Critics?

March 25, 2016 2 comments

In just a few hours I’m going to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been waiting for this movie for decades.  It’s finally here.

Critics are ripping the movie and director Zack Snyder’s production.  It seems like there is a concerted effort to stop the movie before it even gets started.

Guess what?  I’m going to love the movie.  Why?  I don’t go to movies unless I’m going to love them.  If I went to 100 movies, I would love 99 of them.

What I don’t understand is why anyone really cares about what critics say.  What gives them any credibility when it comes to reviewing movies anyway?  Every time I watch some movie critic on TV, I wonder what exactly they did to get that job.  My local station that I watch has a young guy review movies on Sundays and I never understand what the appeal is to the movies he likes.  Likewise, he hates the movies I like.

I have begun using what critics say as a guide to avoid movies more than what I watch.  If critics love it, there is a 99% chance I will hate it.

I also find this to be the case with Academy Award winners.  There was one I gave in and watched a couple of years ago.  After it was over I couldn’t figure out why I  had really watched it.  By the way, the critics loved it as well.

What I have decided is that critics and I are out of step with each other.  I have decided something else as well.

We pay way too much attention to the opinions, in general, of others.  We want to be in on what is hip and cool.  I’ve been guilty of that in the past.  I’m not necessarily immune to it now.

So, I’m going to see Batman and Superman duke it out tonight.  I’m going  to love every minute of it.  And I don’t care what one critic says about.

Unless, of course, they agree with me.

How do you choose what movies you will see?  Do you care what critics have to say about it?  Why?

What I Have Learned From Batman vs. Superman Already

Friday night will find me watching Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  I may not have ever been this excited to see a movie (unless, of course, you count Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989.)  In fact, I have already learned a lesson.

You see, I was an avid comic book reader until I reached the realities of adulthood, which is that marriage could not support my comic book habit.  In fact, my oldest remaining comic book is a Justice League of America issue from 1973.

In the back of comic books in those day were letters to the editor.  I remember many of those old books dreaming of a Justice League movie and fancasting who would play those heroes.  While we had Superman in 1978, I never truly believed that we could ever have all of those heroes together in one movie.  Of course, we’ve had the Avengers since then.

Think about that for a minute.  I have been waiting almost 40 years for this movie. That’s enough time for the children of Israel to wander around in the wilderness until they could enter the Promised Land.  It’s how long Jeremiah preached without a convert.

What this movie does, when I reflect on it, is how good God is.  He may not give us what we want when we want it, but He will in His own timing.

Is it silly that I can see a God lesson in a movie that I haven’t even seen yet?  Maybe.  But it also goes to show that we should be looking for what God has to show us about Himself in everyday life.

Even if it’s a movie I’ve been waiting for since I was a kid.

3 Things I Learned During Staycation

March 21, 2016 1 comment

Last week was Spring Staycation 16.  While this would normally have given me time to write a few posts, I basically took the week off.  Not just from work, but from most things.  It turned out to be a great week, the last high school spring break I spend with any of my kids.  Life is changing.

So, what did I do?  And better yet, what did I learn last week?

First, that I simply need to get away from everything.  Yes, I need to get away from work at times, but I also need to get away from all of my other routines.  I didn’t tweet as much.  I read some blogs and commented on a few, but overall I spent little time looking at blogs.  I worked around the house some.  I moved for the first time this year.  I watched some mindless stuff on Netflix. It was nice.

Next, I resumed my love of spending time with my family.  My wife and daughter weren’t here all week, but my son was.  We spend a lot of time together normally, but we just did a lot of nothing together.  We listened to some college baseball.  We actually threw baseball together even though we don’t have any illusions of playing any more.  Family is definitely among the highest values in my life.

Finally, I was able to just do a lot of thinking about things that I don’t normally think about.  I reflected on life, work and other aspects of life.  That’s one of the great things about vacations: you get away and reboot, so to speak.

Going forward, Staycations won’t be the same again.  I’m going to have to get creative and find new ways to spend some of this quality time that I have spent with my family over the past decade or so.

How do you spend vacations and Staycations?

Categories: Blogging, Family Tags: ,

How Big Should Your Church Be?

March 14, 2016 2 comments

Andy Stanley raised a bit of ruckus lately.  He made some comments in a sermon telling parents not to be selfish about their church wants.  Instead, he told them take their children to a bigger church where their kids could be in a larger youth group.  While I can understand people being upset in how Mr. Stanley said his comments, there is a lot that I understand and agree with in what he said.

Today, more so it seems than in any other time in history, we have choices when it comes to church.  Maybe in the past we were limited by geography and our choices were the Baptist, Methodist or some other brand of church.  Now days?  It’s not unusual for people to drive for an hour to go to the church of their choice.  It seems to me that what Stanley was really saying is that parents are all too happy to find a church that they like and park there, not wanting it to change.  They don’t take into account what their total family needs.

A few years ago, my family attended a normal sized church.  Average Sunday school attendance was around 80 each Sunday.  There were some youth, but virtually nothing going on.  My daughter began attending another church’s youth group with her boyfriend.  It was about 30 minutes away from where we lived and she spend Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights there.  While we didn’t face a ton of criticism, there was some heat that we could feel beneath the surface, as though we were traitors for letting our daughter do this.  Among many issues, I think this one helped in the situation that led us to leaving that church.

The problem with many of us in the church is that we find one that we like.  We become comfortable with the people and settle in.  Then we truly settle on that church being that way forever.  Sometimes it’s subtle, when it’s said that the church is just the right size.  Other times it’s blatant when someone says that they don’t really want new people to come in.  Even then, some people want new folks to be on some sort of secret probation until they are allowed to participate in the direction of “their church.”

Imagine, for a moment, someone saying that a 10 year old was just the right size.  No need to grow anymore.  Just stay the way you are.  Ridiculous, right?

Let’s agree that the Church is the Body of Christ.  A body needs to grow.  The Church needs to grow.

Let’s not have the mindset that things need to stay the same forever.  What if we were still driving Model T’s?  Would that good for us?

Instead, let’s prove that our local bodies of believers truly are part of the Body.  Let’s push for growth.  Let’s not settle for remaining the same.

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: ,

Leadership Is Love

March 10, 2016 1 comment

Maybe you’re like me.

Perhaps your wedding included One Corinthians 13.  It happens in a lot of weddings.

I really hadn’t thought much about it until the other day.  I was listening to a couple of podcasts with interviews of Perry Noble.  All I know about him is that he is a pastor over in South Carolina and his church is a huge multi-site mega church.  And that’s fine with me.  And he pointed out something I had never thought about.

Noble said that One Corinthians 12 is about spiritual gifts.  One Corinthians 14 is about spiritual gifts.  So what’s a chapter about the love between a husband, wife and their marriage vows doing wedged between those chapters.  Unless it isn’t, of course.

Maybe One Corinthians 13 isn’t really about marital love.  Maybe, instead, it’s about what ties spiritual gifts together.  And maybe it’s really about all relationships.

And that means leadership as well.

What if we would use that chapter as a guide in how we lead folks?

Leadership is patient.  Leadership is kind.  And so on.  And so on.

What if that is what our leaders were like?  Wouldn’t it make it easier to follow them?

So, I have a new lens to view my own leadership, whether it’s my family leadership or my role at work.

Leadership is love.  That’s what it boils down to.  That’s what it’s all about.

Categories: Career, Christianity, Faith Tags: ,