Nov 22, 2010

The Next Three Days

This past weekend there were millions of people lined up to see the new Harry Potter movie.  Where was I?  I was seeing The Next Three Days along with eight other people who happened to be in the theater on Saturday night.  I went home afterwards and read some reviews to see if I could find out where the crowds were.  The critics attacked it as too slow and not enough action.

I think what they mean is not enough "action".  The action we have grown accustomed to is over the top CGI explosions and unrealistic fight scenes.  The Next Three Days was a well acted, realistic nail biter of a movie.  It is a mix between John Q. and Taken.  If you are looking for a movie that could actually happen- a romantic action flick with a lot of drama and a feel good vibe about the triumph of the human spirit, then The Next Three Days is for you.

The only drawback is that Liam Neeson only does a short 5 minute cameo, when the trailor made him seem like a main character.  It does not matter though because Russell Crowe carries the film.

It was a breath of fresh air after the far fetched action movies that have come out this year.  If I still had the money I spent to see movies like Predators and The Expendables I could go back several more times to see The Next Three Days.  My advise:  Ignore the critics on this one.

Nov 11, 2010

Dealing With Frustration and Pain

My wife Debbie wrote this article as a devotional for some teen girls she mentors.  It spoke to me so I thought I would pass it on to the Randumblog community. 


This is a BIG issue for me and something I struggle with on a daily basis!!!!!.... I know that everyone deals with this no matter what age and season of life you are in!

Being a Christian does not mean that our lives will be easy or that everything will just be handed to us on a silver platter. The Bible tells us in John 16:33 "that in this world we will have trials". Most of us have positive expectations for the future. But what if life is not as we had hoped it would be? How do we manage the unexpected, and the not-so-desirable turn of events? The answer is simple, but not easy....God has NOT given us a way out, but a way through! He has not only told us, but has shown us how we can have victory through the trials and temptations of this life.

John 16:33 "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” 

In this verse Jesus is talking to his disciples and basically telling them that their life is NOT going to be easy. In fact most of them would end up being brutally killed for their faith. WE will also have troubles, frustrations, and sorrow.  It is a natural part of this life. However, Jesus goes on to say, don't be upset about this, for I have overcome the world.  Jesus was telling them this before his death. He didn't say I WILL overcome the world, but I HAVE already overcome it. I believe this means that in this life will go through things that are not pleasant, but Jesus did too. However, he overcame it by his response to it. He did not sin. I believe he is letting us know that when we go through these tough times, e understands, because he has been through it, but we can also choose not to do wrong. We can choose to have the right attitude, not blame others, not give up by giving into the lies of this world. 

"God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute." Oswalt Chambers 

I know for my own life, frustration is a daily thing. In this world, bad things will happen, they may be small or even great. Things that we think that we cannot overcome, but God will give us the strength. He does not take it away or give us an escape. But he has provided a way through it. 

We can have victory through tough times, but we must be reading the Bible, worshiping and praying, staying connected with others that share our faith, and staying free from sin through the power of God's forgiveness. 

God said, "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace," He tells us that we can rest in the fact that all we endure is working out for good whether we can see it or not! I know that I have used this example before but it always helps me to see this more practically. Have you ever seen a cross stitch? The little brown wooden circle with fabric stretched through it. There are lots of threads of many different colors used to make a picture on the fabric. Well underneath there are all these strings hanging down, a knotted mess. This is what we see in our lives. Like we are underneath this thing and we have no idea how something so messed up is going to look. However, God is looking down at the top, he sees how each thread, each color is making a beautiful picture! this is our life...we are messed up, we have all these trials and things that come through everyday life, but we cannot see the big picture. God is using these threads to make us into something more beautiful!

Here are some other verses that I thought might would help you press on through daily trouble we may face. I encourage you to read them and study them more on your own.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to share.

Job 23:10
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.
James 1:12 
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
1 Peter 1:7
"so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Nov 10, 2010

What are Your Pet Peeves?

Everyone has pet peeves.  Here are a few of mine.

-email forwards
-dogs that lick 
-when people confuse Star Trek with Star Wars (Argh!)
-finding only one sock per pair after a wash
-partisan politics
-being late for anything
-cell phones in a theater
-talking during the national anthem
-tele-evangelists (for the most part)
-local news (Charlotte)
-skinny jeans
-a slow wi-fi connection
-being at an event where only tea is served (and I have to ask for water)
-an empty soda at a restaurant
-emissions inspections on cars
-bad grammar

What are your pet peeves?

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Nov 2, 2010

The Election is Over! I Hope it Starts a Gridlock!

Well, it is no secret that I am an independent voter. One may wonder why I am excited about the Republicans taking control of the house. The reason is that it balances the power.

When President Bush had a majority in the house and senate the republicans went on a spending spree. This spree was echoed and built upon by President Obama and his Senate and House democratic majority. The simple fact is that new plans cost money. Whoever is in charge will spend, spend, spend, regardless of political affiliation. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Democrats want government to do more for us, which requires more taxes while republicans call for tax breaks without necessarily cutting spending. To cut taxes, we must first cut spending, programs, funding and agencies. That is right, I said agencies. I would cut the cord on the IRS, NEA and many others.

The truth is the government that acts least, acts best. This is why I love a gridlocked government. I say vote for the party in congress that is not in the White House no matter who happens to be in power. Sure nothing new will get done, but then again, what do we really NEED the government to do that the private sector cannot come up with through supply and demand?

While we're at it, let's stop trying to legislate social and moral change. Let it start with us. Let us love our spouses more than ourselves, teach our children to work hard and to give back from what they have earned. It is not the government's responsibility to care for the poor. It is ours. I would much rather give freely than to have my money taken and redistributed.

Yes, gridlock is the answer. Maybe in the next two years government spending will begin to drop slightly. Hey, I can hope can't I? Remember that if families ran their financial lives like the federal government then there would be no America. Can you imagine deciding what you want to spend and then approaching your employer and demand to be paid that amount? It would be absurd! We have to see what we make and only spend that amount in order to be responsible. This is not the way government works.

To those who lament on both sides tonight that neither side has control, I would like to remind them that it is better that two idiots fight with their fists than one climb the tower with a machine gun. Divided power is less power for each party and that is good for everyone.

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