“Just what do you think you are doing Dave?” From Kubrick’s 1968, 2001, A Space Odyssey. Ray Ortlund ties in the clip below with Romans 8:13 and I have added Galatians 5:16,17. Consider the fear involved when we put to death the deeds of the flesh
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13 ESV
But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of teh spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:16,17 ESV
If you are a Morgan Freeman fan and I am, you should check out this post! Creative!! Seems like prison inmate could be at the bottom.
Just watched this on Eric Johnson’s blog–song by David Rovics about a band of Irishmen and former slaves who joined Mexico in the 1846 war against the U.S. Movie shown here is One Man’s Hero. I confess that I am a bit stunned after watching this–no I didn’t cry but close. Not for the faint of heart.
It is great to be back home after two weeks away! Easier access to the internet! My wife sent me a link to What Makes a Film Chirstian over at the United Methodist portal. It is a good read and may give you some ideas for some movies that you may want to watch as well as challenge your thinking about watching some questionable films. A few quotes from the article which is an interview with five of the staffers on this site.
- The question The Dark Knight asks—whether the ends justify the means, even with present and future lives on the line—seems immediate and contemporary, but the resonance comes from that question’s very timelessness. Daringly, this blockbuster offers only ambiguous answers and hard-earned wisdom. When was the last time a film on faith had the guts to do that?
- Are Christians really OK with a poorly told story as long as it gets the gospel out there? Even if it misses connecting with their target audience?
- The urge to propagandize and the inability to handle ambiguity is a hallmark of bad filmmaking, regardless of the director’s religious or political leaning. . .The Dark Knight wisely dealt with the complicated issue of finding a balance between individual rights and privacy in the face of terrorism: It offered only ambiguous answers. Bravo. . .Christian directors, watch and learn.
- Powerful storytelling gives the Holy Spirit room to prompt a moment of grace without the “help” of a heavy-handed director or script.
- We need to get beyond the subculture of “Christian” films with their formulaic plots if we want to resonate with people who think “family-friendly” means “sappy,” yet who wonder what God’s really up to in the world.
- Though the culture at large may not view stories through a Christian lens, they nonetheless grapple with recognizable problems in ways that can be instructive—for them and for us.
Watched Into Great Silence earlier today with friends. It is a fascinating 2 hour 45 minute movie about life in a Cistercian monastery in France. Besides one two minute interview with one of the older monks (in French), there was no talking. There was a lot of silence as we observed the monks in prayer, work and play. But the silence enhanced the sounds we heard from scissors snipping through material, a knife slicing through crunchy celery and a saw rasping quickly through a block of wood and many more. Wonderful work with light and shadow. All of us afterwards, expressed how we longed to incorporate some of what we had just seen and experienced into our busy, overly full lives.
One comment afterwards by a friend that I am working on: “Do not think about doing great things. Do small things with great love.” A quote from Mother Teresa, I believe.
I watched Rambo IV last night–quite violent and there are a number of very disturbing images just to warn you. In it (a rather old) Rambo, rescues missionaries who have gone into war torn Burma. He tells the missionaries before they go up country that they will never be able to change anything–nothing ever changes. The missionary wife tells him that it is better to spend your life on doing something than waste it on doing nothing and that eventually gets Rocky (I mean Rambo) to move into action.
Here is what Sylvestor Stallone said in early 2007, “The more I go to church,” Stallone said, reported Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, “and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to His Word and having Him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now.”
About Rambo, Sly said Rambo’s mission in this movement, “is to bring a group of Christians upriver into a very hostile territory, and they’re there to bring the Word of God and medicine and dentistry to these natives. He starts getting influenced by their faith in the face of such incredible odds.”
“I think it may work,” he said.
“Here’s how it is. I believe that you can have a Christian theme but you can’t hit it too heavy. You can’t hit ‘em over the head with a hammer. You have to be subtle about it,” he conclude
I am trying to finish Ken Gire’s Reflections on the Movies so I can go on to some other books. This week, I read his chapter on The Dead Poets Society and now I want to watch that again. Gire’s discussed one of the key phrases in the movie, “carpe diem” (seize the day). Related to this, he told a story about what he learned from his Hebrew prof in Seminary. Here it is:
I have forgotten many of the things in that professor’s classes. But I haven’t forgotten that particular day in class or what he said. he said simply, “What we produce will fail. But what happens to us in the producing of it is eternal.”
Gire discusses this further:
What he (his Hebrew prof) was trying to show us was this. The sermons or books or churches we might one day produce weren’t nearly as important as what would happen to us in the producing of them. That is what is eternal. And it’s the eternity of our lives, not the futility of them, that should motivate us to seize the day and live extraordinary lives.
That is a little different message than the one in The Dead Poets Society.
When we leave this world, the trophies get left behind. It doesn’t make any difference whether the trophies are for athletic, academic, or artistic achievement, or some other kind of achievement.
The only things that go with us are the things produced in us. 168
Now that is worth thinking about a bit more!
It is almost Monday morning (11:56 p.m. on Sunday night) but I have been wanting to share this post. I have continued to read Ken Gire’s Reflections on the Movies and in the following quotes, he is talking about the movie “Smoke.” I have never even heard of it much less seen it but I may rent it if I can find it. The story sounds a bit weird, about a guy who has taken a photograph of the corner where he works (and lives?) every day for the past 30 years. That may not help you fully understand the following quote but I thought I needed to give some context to what Gire says. Great words to start your week on if you happen to look at this on Monday morning (which it is now).
The journey we are on is a sacred one. It is sacred because we are sacred. And we are sacred because we are the objects of divine affection. It is the value God places on us that makes us sacred. Though on any given Monday it doesn’t feel that way. It doesn’t feel that way because we get caught in a workaday routine that wears us down, and we lose a sense of the sacred in our work. Instead of living in the moment, we live for the weekends. And the moments which could be moments of grace become merely moments of clock-watching for the end of the day. In the gears of such a way of living, our humanity is ground down. And we forget how dear we are to God, how dear our neighbor is to God, and or mate, and our children.
I forget daily, and so I need to be reminded daily.
That is our life’s work. To pay attention to those who pass by our corner. To see them the way Jesus would see them if he were standing on that corner. To hear them the way he would hear them. And to love them the way He would love them. To touch them with His hands, embrace them with His arms, and support them with His shoulder.