Monthly Archives: January 2009

Friday pop culture

Did I mention (name dropping here…) that a while back, Elisabeth and I saw Kiefer (yes, that Kiefer of ’24’ fame) in the grocery store.
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(except without the gun)
My daughter would not let me go up & talk with him though. She thought I would look too much like a tourist.

On another note… — how can this be, that ‘Mall Cop’ is still the #1 movie in the land…

Top Five Movies
1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)
2. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (R)
3. Gran Torino (R)
4. Hotel for Dogs (PG)
5. Slumdog Millionaire (R)

could it be that our country is longing for mindless entertainment, in the midst of the bad news of the economy?

This was interesting to read — THE TOP 10 MOST REDEEMING MOVIES OF THE YEAR (by CT that is)

My favorite on that list was #2 – The Visitor. Seemly a stunning movie. You have to see it.


thinking Thursday

I have been reading a little bit of Martyn Lloyd-Jones lately, which is interesting because he was a Welsh preacher in London, in the mid-20th century. He was not really a Hollywood type of guy.

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Regardless, he has some things to say that are really challenging for me as a pastor here in the heart of L.A.
Here are a few:

“Our supreme need, and our only need, is to know God, the living God, and the power of his might. We need nothing else. It is just that, the power of the living God, to know that the living God is among us and that nothing else matters. So we wait upon him. We look to him. We cry out to him, as Moses did when he was standing before the Red Sea, not knowing what to do, and while the people were grumbling and complaining, and afraid. God answered Moses and said, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they may go forward” (Exodus 14:15). And on they went. I say, forget everything else. Forget everything else. We need to realize the presence of the living God amongst us. Let everything else be silent. This is no time for minor differences. We all need to know the touch of the power of the living God.”

“Possibly one of the most devastating things that can happen to us as Christians is that we cease to expect anything to happen. I am not sure but that this is not one of our greatest troubles today. We come to our services and they are orderly, they are nice ‒ we come, we go ‒ and sometimes they are timed almost to the minute, and there it is. But that is not Christianity, my friend. Where is the Lord of glory? Where is the one sitting by the well? Are we expecting him? Do we anticipate this? Are we open to it? Are we aware that we are ever facing this glorious possibility of having the greatest surprise of our life? Or let me put it like this. You may feel and say ‒ as many do ‒ ‘I was converted and became a Christian. I’ve grown ‒ yes, I’ve grown in knowledge, I’ve been reading books, I’ve been listening to sermons, but I’ve arrived now at a sort of peak and all I do is maintain that. For the rest of my life I will just go on like this.’

Now, my friend, you must get rid of that attitude; you must get rid of it once and for ever. That is ‘religion’, it is not Christianity. This is Christianity: the Lord appears! Suddenly, in the midst of the drudgery and the routine and the sameness and the dullness and the drabness, unexpectedly, surprisingly, he meets with you and he says something to you that changes the whole of your life and your outlook and lifts you to a level that you had never conceived could be possible for you. Oh, if we get nothing else from this story, I hope we will get this. Do not let the devil persuade you that you have got all you are going to get, still less that you received all you were ever going to receive when you were converted. That has been a popular teaching, even among evangelicals. You get everything at your conversion, it is said, including baptism with the Spirit, and nothing further, ever. Oh, do not believe it; it is not true. It is not true to the teaching of the Scriptures, it is not true in the experience of the saints running down the centuries. There is always this glorious possibility of meeting with him in a new and a dynamic way.”


Friday pop culture

Top 5 movies of the week:

Top Five Movies
1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)
2. Gran Torino (R)
3. My Bloody Valentine (3D) (R)
4. Notorious (R)
5. Hotel for Dogs (PG)

Well, not a pack of winners I would say. I did see #2 on the list though — Gran Torino, and enjoyed it.
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I went with my neighbor Tommy who is an aspiring director & with Caleb. Caleb loved it. Surprisingly, I thought the acting was just so-so at best (even Eastwood’s character was a little over the top), but the Story was so powerful, that I ended up really liking it.

I liked the fact that it was morally complicated (as life is), and that it surprised me.
I guess more than anything, the theme of ‘redemption’ was more powerful in this movie than most I have seen.
Go see it, if you have not & enjoy it. The theme can be intense, and the language even more so. If that makes you squeamish, maybe you should skip it.

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Also, the Oscar nominee list is out…


thinking Thursday

I woke up this morning with the weight of the world on my shoulders for some reason. Thinking of Kairos, my family, money, our future, etc.
It all raced at me like wild horses. I went to my reading spot (sounds like a kindergarten kid doesn’t it) & just read for a while.

It calmed me enough to pray, and to pour our my heart to God for my family, the Kairos community, for this city. It helped me, as Matthew says, to let the ‘unforced rhythms of grace’ work their way into my being.
(Matt 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”)

I then was able to have a really good talk with my son, about things we dont always get to talk about.

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom of pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. — Frederick Buechner


quote of the day

sorry to be away… — we were in Mexico for just under a week, working with an organization in Baja California — that ministers to migrant workers, and especially their children. I will have to post some pictures on the building that we did down there.

Anyway, I came across this C.S. Lewis quote today & loved it (me loves C.S. Lewis very much — his thinking, his honesty, his grace towards others, etc.)

“Christianity is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If you can bring anyone into that hall, I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall that there are fires… and chairs… and meals. When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.” — C.S. Lewis