Archive for October, 2017

Why I Watch Hallmark Movies

October 23, 2017 1 comment

Admit it. You’ve watched one. Or two. Maybe hundreds.

Hallmark movies are incredibly formulaic. Boy and girl meet. They want to be involved, but some obstacle keeps them apart. Finally, the problem is resolved and they end up together.

Each movie follows this basic pattern. There are the Valentine’s Day movies. The Spring movies. Summer. Fall. Then Christmas.

Yet millions of people watch them.

And so do I.

The question is why. Why would I spend a minute watching sappy love stories that follow the same pattern?

Jan loves them.

Are they realistic? No.

Do I hear the Gospel when I watch them? No.

But here’s what happens.

Jan appreciates it when I watch one with her.

It’s important to do something with your spouse that might not necessarily be your choice. You might want the same from them.

Try it. Not necessarily a Hallmark movie. Something, though, that your spouse doesn’t like.

It will strengthen your marriage.

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October 19, 2017 5 comments

I didn’t post Monday, as I have the last few weeks. I waited until today. 

It’s my birthday and I’m 49.

I don’t say that soliciting birthday wishes, though I won’t turn them down either.

I’ll spend my day dealing with some car trouble while on one of my annual Staycations.

I’ll reflect on life a bit as I enter my 50th year of life (is that even possible?).

I will tweet out that if I could, I would have said no to more things in the past.

I’ll read the 20,000 Days by Robert D. Smith, one of my annual traditions.

I may find time to watch Rogue One.

In other words, today is going to be a mixed bag. Kind of like life.

Kind of like the past 49 years.

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Quit Hacking

I love movies that depict earlier, brutal times. I’m sure that’s a fault of mine, somehow, but true.

The funny thing is that no matter how much we want to clean it up, the Bible is full of stories that include tales that would make some great PG-13 and R rated material.

1 Samuel 15 includes one of these. Samuel hacks a king to death when Saul disobeyed the Lord and let him live.

It’s easy to take the stance that I need to be obedient and hack my sin to death in light of this story. I’ve used this as an illustration numerous times. After all, Jesus said to cut off your hand and foot and gouge out your eye to get in the Kingdom.

Except that I was wrong.

I don’t have to hack my sin to death. I don’t have to win the victory.

Jesus has already done it.

I just have to trust and follow Christ.

You see, the problem with the way I have been teaching this thing is like defeating sin was up to me. Like I can just take my sword and axe and take on sin, all by myself.

You see, Jesus has already done the heavy lifting. He died for my sins and rose for my righteousness.

What does that leave us to do? Abide in Him. Live and walk in the Spirit. Let the word richly indwell. Assemble with each other. Stir each other up to live and do good works.

That’s it. Sure, it’s hard, but easy at the same time. We make it hard on ourselves. But His burden is easy.

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Full Measures

The title to this post has popped up in my life a couple of times recently. A football coach mentioned just before the game to his team. A television show that almost everyone has heard of used it as the title of an episode.

Full measures.

I have been enthralled with a section of Mark’s Gospel. It’s found in the ninth chapter, beginning in verse 42. It contains some wonderful imagery.

Millstones tied around necks.

Hands cut off.

Feet chopped off.

Eyes gouged out.

Fires not quenched.

Worms not dying.

The thing that I keep coming around to is the Kingdom Life, the life Jesus is talking about, requires full measures.

Do I need to self-mutilate? No. But I have to be willing to do whatever it takes to be with Jesus, to be in His kingdom.

We take so many half-measures. We play a lot of games. We do this and that and love the lovable Jesus we find in the Bible.

But we don’t do whatever it takes. We don’t cut things out of our life that hinder us. We don’t maintain a singular focus.

Maybe you do. I don’t. But I’m guessing that I’m not unique.

Let’s start taking the steps toward full measures. It’s a journey. Let’s get started. 

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