Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anybody Want a Peanut?

"Mawage. Mawage is what bwings us togethaw today."

Next week, Amber and I will celebrate our 7th anniversary, so in honor of that, I thought I'd write about one of our favorite romantic movies, 1987's The Princess Bride. It's an adventure / comedy / fairytale that shows how "true love" can conquer anything, and it's one of the most quotable movies I've ever seen..

The movie begins when a sick little boy (Fred Savage) receives a visit from his grandfather (Peter Falk), who gives him a present: a book. "That's right. In my day, Television was called Books," the grandfather explains. "Does it have any sports in it?" the boy inquires, to which the grandfather excitedly explains: "Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes...true love...miracles!" While the boy is less than enthusiastic, his grandfather begins reading aloud to him The Princess Bride, S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, and slowly over the course of the film, the boy comes to be enthralled by the story.

'The Princess Bride' © 1987 Twentieth Century Fox
Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in 'The Princess Bride' © 1987 Twentieth Century Fox

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moving to Beverly... Hills, That Is

Do you ever get the feeling like you just don't belong here? If so, maybe you're right!

In the 1960s, some of the funniest TV sitcoms fell into what I call the "fish out of water" category. This genre included shows like The Munsters and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and the humor came from the fact that the main character(s) just didn't fit in with the rest of the world. If you've ever felt weird or outcast, these shows are for you. What they remind me, though, is that we as Christians really don't belong here. We're in this world for a short time, but we should always be looking forward to eternity. Like Abraham and his descendants in the Old Testament, we live for a while in these temporary places, but we look forward to our true home in the city built by God (Hebrews 11:9-10; Revelation 21:1-2).

The Beverly Hillbillies
© 1962 Viacom International Inc.
One of my favorite "fish out of water" shows from the '60s is The Beverly Hillbillies, the story of the Clampett family, as they move from their little cabin home in the Appalachian mountains to the high-society world of Beverly Hills after discovering oil on their property. The new billionaires are catapulted from the lowliest of circumstances into a world where - because they are different - they are neither understood nor accepted. Likewise, Jesus told his followers to expect rejection because the world first hated him, and we are different (John 15:18-19). But don't let rejection steal your joy! Instead, be assured of your eternal reward (Matthew 5:10-12).

Friday, May 11, 2012

Goober Says Hey!

Since this whole blog started, in a way, because of The Andy Griffith Show, I thought it would be appropriate to take some time and comment on the passing of George Lindsey. He played the lovable mechanic, Goober, on The Andy Griffith Show from 1964 until the show ended in 1968, and then he continued the role on the spin-off series, Mayberry RFD, for three more years. George Lindsey passed away this past Sunday, and will be laid to rest this afternoon.

Goober © Viacom International Inc.
George 'Goober' Lindsey
When I heard the news - like so many others around the world - I was sad. Lindsey joins a long list of others from the show's cast who have gone on to the Great Beyond, and as each one leaves us, we're reminded again of how far removed our world is from the world portrayed in the sleepy town of Mayberry. I don't know if things were ever really as simple as it seemed on the show, but for folks like myself, watching The Andy Griffith Show brings back happy memories of family and friends and a time when life didn't seem so complicated or controversial. Right was right, and wrong was wrong. People cared for one another and helped one another. And some of the best times to be had were just sittin' on the porch, relaxing after a good sermon and a nice Sunday supper. Lindsey's passing is a reminder to me that, while the times are changing, one thing is the same: life is short, and we need to make the most of our lives while we're here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Living as a Joyful Noise

A few months ago, Amber and I went to the theater to watch the movie Joyful Noise, starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton as church leaders trying to lead their choir to victory in a national competition.

Joyful Noise choir © 2011 Alcon Film Fund, LLC

While, on the surface, this might sound like a goody-two-shoes, family oriented Christian movie, it's not. The choir's opening song proclaims, "There's not enough love in our hearts," and it doesn't take long to find out they're telling the truth. It’s a movie full of back-stabbing, blackmail, judgmentalism, self-centeredness, pride, lying, swearing, and sexual sin - and that's all exhibited by the Christians in the film! Dolly's character even at one point shares her belief that "sometimes a small sin is justified" when you believe you're working for a higher purpose - a stance that is not Biblical at all, though I'm sure there are people who agree with her. Sin is always wrong in God's view, and God never calls us to sin (Psalm 5:4; James 1:13). When we are not sure how to avoid sin, we would do well to consider 1 Corinthians 10:13, pray about it, and remember these words:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Speaking Louder

"Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."
- 1 John 3:18

Have you ever been lied to? Have you ever made a promise and later been unable to do what you vowed? Have you ever said something and wished you could take it back? Have you ever wanted to say something, but just couldn't find the right words?  

Last time, I talked a little about the importance of what we say. Words express ideas and proclaim beliefs, and they can be very powerful. They have the ability to change people's lives in all kinds of ways. But sometimes words aren't enough, sometimes they can be deceptive, and sometimes we don't even mean what we say.

"A picture is worth a thousand words."
"Seeing is believing."
"You've got to practice what you preach." 
"Actions speak louder than words."