Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stuff and Things

I got an email  to today from a fellow Christian wanting me to read something he found on line titled: "Man Stuff: When Men Lead Properly in Church".  When I opened it up, there were actually several articles to choose from including:   "Obama Visits Israel (or When Satan Came to Town)", "Why Did America Become a Wussy Nation?" and "Man Stuff (Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate).

I was too disturbed to go farther, but later returned to the article that was recommended. The article centered on returning the church to a "Manly Church" as was intended.  The author stated that most male church leaders probably uset he Women's Restroom at church and he asks these questions:

1. What are your messages like? Are they geared to men. 
2. Is your church decorated in fruity colors and assortments of puffy, lacy, and flowery decorations?
3. Does your men's bathroom have a masculine feel to it?
4. In worship do you have prom songs to Jesus?

He goes on to say that since Jesus started with men first and made the first leaders men, then we should too.

He suggests (this is a quote):  "Hold UFC parties, football parties, work days where men connect in a manly way, and give them objectives and goals to accomplish!"

So ladies its back to barefoot and pregnant!

LORD help us from people who continually "Make GOD in our own image."

As for the other articles, don't make me go there!

"Let the little children come to me. and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of haven belongs to such as these." Jesus                   More children and less Manly men.

My Oscar Guesses

This is the first year in a while that I have seen all movies up for best picture but Amour.
I will do my predictions similar to the critics but list my favorite and then who I think will win.

Best Picture:  Me: Lincoln    Winner: Argo
There is method to this madness.

Best Actor:  Me: Daniel Day Lewis  Winner: Same
If you haven't noticed by now, He doesn't make many movies. When he does he wins. I saw all  the men in this category and all deserved being honored, but Daniel was THE man.

Best Actress:  Me: Jennifer Lewis   Winner: Same
She has not made a bad movie either.  I only saw three of the five nominees!

Best Supporting Actor:  Me: Christoph Waltz, Django  Winner: Toss Up probably DeNiro
I saw all of them and all were great.  I didn't like Hoffman's movie "The Master" but he was good in it.
Waltz was masterful.

Best Supporting Actress: Me:Don't Care  Winner: Anne Hathaway
I saw all but Helen Hunt's role.  I think I got too much unto the ones I saw and the nominees played weird people. NO I did not care for MS Hathaway. She should be up for best musical performer and not for acting.  

Best Director: Me: Spielberg  Winner: Kathryn Bigelow
Since Argo director Ben Affleck was not nominated, it will be one of the few times where things are spread around. My theory is since Lincoln centers on the Role of Daniel Day Lewis he gets best actor.
Since Bradley Copper won't get it for Silver Linings give actress to Lewis.  Argo gets Best Picture and Ms Bigelow gets best Director for Zero Dark Thirty.  That way all four of the Best pictures get awards!

Along with this theory Life of Pi, Les Mis, and Beasts will pick up writing, music, etc.

Thing to always remember: Hollywood likes Politics and Mental patients, but have a harder time with musicals and comedy.

The Movie that I really want to win is "Searching For Sugar Man" Best Documentary.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

getting a report card

I remember as a kid that I was never concerned about my letter grades in school (since I was a fairly good student never getting below a C until college. But in elementary (grade school) they had that list of items where the teacher would check off on items like:  works well with others, shows potential, whispers too much, inattentive, etc.  Those could cause MUCH conversation when I got home.  It is interesting that all A's would bring a small at-a-boy but a whispers too too much would bring a stern lecture.   Report Cards by their nature causes us to focus on the bad instead of the exceptional.

I say all that to say I just received a report card from my church.  Being in the leadership, the Church elders are re-affirmed every three years. A questionnaire is made available to the members and they rate us on a scale of 1 to 10 on a series of questions. Then on a separate ballot they vote yes or no on continuing in leadership. The questionaire has to be signed but the ballot is not.  We have to get an 85% positive to continue.  This is my third time to go through this process.

I tried this time around to be available for anyone who wants to talk to me about anything. It was announced that one Sunday after church I would talk to anyone.  One person came and asked one question, "What can you do for me as an Elder?"  We had a great conversation.  The people who don't like me did not attend.

This time I was approved by 98.5%.  But as I have been trained since my youth I was concerned about the questionnaire results.  For the record only one person who voted no filled out and signed a questionnaire.  He rated me as a 1 or 2 in every category.  Yikes!  He has no use for me. I had several blank questionnaires that represent votes without comment.

Last time I went through this, my lowest marks was on "Am I approachable?"

This time a got many 10's on that question but the same question was my lowest score again.  The new issue that arose is that some think I am not relational with others.  Here is where it gets hard.  Many, many written comments say that they relate to me because of my teaching and say that the things I bring up are right where they are.  But while they relate to me, some say that I don't relate to them by being in their lives.

This gives me food for growth, because two or three explained their reasoning in a clear manner.

It shows one of my many flaws:  Despite what many think, I am actually introverted. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

less traveled roads

I'm getting to know this "less traveled road" 412 to the panhandle of Oklahoma

Side Effects

No sports week end -  We went to see "Side Effects" and I quote Time Magazine "Side Effects demands a three word review:  Just see it.

Because this is an R rated thriller where three may or may not be what they seem, I will just ad the review from the Denver Post:  "Side Effects" does a nice job teasing current anxieties about depression, medical ethics and class striving with the classic thriller quandary of "Who's playing who?"

I will only add there are elements of "Body Heat" in this plus some good actors , a great director and even better story.  Jude Law Rocks.

It is "R"

I give it ***1/2 stars

2013 Movie #9

Friday, February 8, 2013

identity thief 2

Identity Thief: Guilty Pleasure

Note: This is NOT a recommendation

Take the guy character from Juno (Jason Bateman). Add a Bridesmaid's character (Melissa McCarthy). Then add characters like Modern Family's big gay guy who is very cowboy Hetro in this and actors like Amanda Peet and Robert Patrick.  Stir it up and you have a 2013 version of "Planes, Trains and automobiles".

The subject is serious.  The story is another Lucy show (I identify with the guy that has been robbed and so I get tense).

Overall it is a wild ride.  Too much profanity and a weird motel scene with the big guy and big girl  (sex without being sexy)

Good popcorn movie for mature folks.

I give it **1/2 stars.

2013 Movie #8

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Traditions or Traditionalism?

"Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living" Pelikan

I' m reading a very good book by Rubel Shelly "I Knew Jesus Before He was aChristian .... and I Liked Him Better Then".

The current chapter deals with tradition and it made me think about my past.  When I got out of college, I was ready to change the world and take it into the future.  I pledged to myself that my architecture would be contemporary. No "Colonial, early American gothic" for me.  I thought the same way about church.  We are still singing songs of the 1700's and in King James' version of the Bible.  I wanted new and bold.

My first pledge lasted almost two years until I was asked to work on an addition to a Colonial Church.  for the record I did not do colonial architecture, but it caused me to see the qualities that makes it stand the test of time. But I still was not buying in.

In church I sought congregations that were more progressive. At least in the Church of Christ. I DID get to try many progressive things and was pleased.

Advance a few years:  I was having lunch with my guru, Dan McCaghren, and we were talking about tradition.  He, knowing my thinking said, "Mike, the biggest need in our fast changing society today is tradition.  He went on to say that family traditions fall because of the neglect of spending time and being together.  He said that people need something to depend on being there and having something to fall back on as safe and comfortable.

In my life today an old hymn from my childhood is as welcome as a favorite family photo.

I have learned great respect for the architecture created by Thomas Jefferson.

I still like Santa, but the Advent story is fantastic.  I have even just discovered the magic and the majesty of "The Lord's Prayer" in the same way I discovered anew "Psalms 23".

I still have no use for traditionalism. Hanging on to things for no reason!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Warm Bodies - In time for valentines

I know you saw the preview for "Warm Bodies" and you said,  "Finally a Romantic Zombie Comedy".

Yes, we have it now.  Yes, I liked it a lot.   It fits well with the previous Zombie Comedy, "Zombieland".   I as a rule don't like Zombies, because as you know it was predicted that if Obama got re-elected there would be a Zombie Apocalypse.  As you know all you publicans are buying guns fast to get ready and all us demos will soon change into zombies. But this movie gives me hope.  "Change" IS possible and there may be hope for us to live together.

This movie is fun. It is PG13 because of a few zombies killing gun toters and one F-word.  But it is mostly great fun.

I give it ***1/2 stars.  2013 Movie #7