Tag Archives: Movies
I Went to a Movie
Being the “recovering legalist” that I am, let me start off this brief little post with a brave confession: I went to a movie on a Sunday night.
That’s right, instead of going to church somewhere last night, my daughter Haley and I used a gift card that was given to her and went to see Hacksaw Ridge. Because I am not pastoring anywhere at the moment, and because I was not scheduled to preach anywhere last night, a daddy/daughter date made for a great conclusion to a week full of stress and uncertainty.
What’s even better is that it only cost me $2 for the movie and $7 for both of us to eat at Taco Bell!
My Daughter’s Thoughts
Before I share with you my thoughts about Hacksaw Ridge, why don’t I share what my daughter posted on Facebook as we left the theater?
“Update: Hacksaw Ridge is The Best movie I have ever seen.”
“Everyone please if you can go see Hacksaw Ridge. You won’t regret it.”
There was literally a physical change in her expression toward the end of the movie. At the very end she sat there with her mouth agape with this look that silently screamed out, “Unbelievable!”
I am not a professional movie critic. Sure, I can be critical, but I am not adept at pointing out all the nuances of plot, imagery, and blah blah blah. All I can do is tell you what I think, how I felt, and what I would recommend.
First, this movie had a whole lot more gore than Saving Private Ryan, if you can believe it. But being that this was directed by Mel Gibson, well… Let’s just say that if you have a weak stomach, you might want to take a barf bag – the battle scenes are meant to shock.
Second, I went to this movie with the preconceived understanding that there would be a spiritual application somewhere; I was not disappointed. Besides the overall theme of being faithful to one’s personal God-given convictions, there was an undeniable linkability (my word) between Desmond Doss’ prayer to rescue “just one more” and the way we should be about reaching the lost.
Third, the first half of the movie is a bona fide chick-flick. Nevertheless, the sweet romance portrayed during the character-building phase of the movie was a pleasant contrast to the hell of war. Some have labeled this movie – at least the first part – too “sentimental.” Whatever. At least it wasn’t your typical get drunk and have sex before you know someone’s name Hollywood script.
Fourth, I wish the context of the battle could have been better explained. I know it might have run the risk of coming across as a history lesson, but it would have been helpful to understand a little better the “why” and the “where” of what was going on in the second half of the movie. Very little was done to explain the battle – it was almost like the fighting took place for the sake of fighting.
Fifth, this was an R-rated film, so beware. There was no sex or graphic nudity, but there was some language (not near as much as other war movies), a lot of violence (duh), and a scene where a particular recruit shows his bare behind (he was an exhibitionist, but that gets corrected in a humorous way).
Overall, this movie is about convictions, honor, duty, God, country, love, and not judging a book by its cover. Even though Doss was a Seventh Day Adventist, nothing about this movie made it come across as proselytizing. It truly was just a great movie and a great testament to a genuine hero, Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, who never fired a shot, but single-handedly saved over 75 lives during the battle of Okinawa. If anyone deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor, he did.
This time of year gets on my nerves, and one of the biggest reasons is the proliferation of horror movies. Horror movies don’t scare me that much; they tick me off! They are always full of idiots walking into the dark asking, “Buffy, is that you?”
And what’s worse, so many of today’s horror flicks involve ghostly, demonic hauntings by creepy dead kids. HINT: if a soaking-wet dead girl crawls out of a well and starts climbing through your TV, change the channel (preferably to a Christian station).
But what I really don’t understand are the “undead”…zombies… Michael Jackson’s dance partners. Can someone help me understand the logic behind their supposed capabilities and actions?
All I know is that the walking dead make absolutely no sense. Consider the following:
Health. Why is it that when I have the flu I feel as good as dead, yet when a zombie is dead he feels more alive than me? If I break a bone I can’t function, but a zombie can have all his bones broken and break into an armored car!
Have you seen what people die from? Why is it zombies can have more energy once their skin has rotted than while they were still exfoliating?
Appetite. Why is it that the walking dead never seem to recognize that their fellow walkers are also human – and edible? And why are humans the only meat worth eating?
Why don’t the walking dead break into grocery stores, butcher shops, and kennels? Seriously, don’t the dead understand that there is far more meat and brains in a cow?! Why eat the farmer???
Blood. I’ve had too much experience in funeral homes to buy the idea that zombies coming out of graves have bright, red, flowing blood. Ever heard of embalming fluid?
Speed. Why can’t healthy people, including clumsy women in high heels, outrun people with muscles falling off the bone? Bones need muscles to function, especially when the function is running.
Even if one tripped over every blade of grass in an attempt to flee a rotting granny, how fast could granny be when her anterior muscles, such as the quadriceps femoris, iliopsoas, and sartorius (not to mention her hamstrings and gluteus maximus) are nothing more than brittle beef jerky?
Minor Practicalities. Speaking of grannies, if old people become zombies do they have to keep their false teeth in order to chew their neighbor? I mean, if one did bite/gum you, would you still be infected if no teeth were involved? For crying out loud, how long does Fixodent last?
Theoretically, if the dentures of a zombie did come flying out after the first bite, could a non-zombie then use them as a zombie-creating weapon?
What is the life expectancy of something that is already dead?
Oh, and when a zombie eats a human, where does the ingested material go? Do zombies have functioning digestive tracts? If not, then how much could a zombie eat before becoming bloated, impacted, and for all intents and purposes worthless as a killing machine?
Do zombies poop?
The Real Undead
To be very honest, I am more afraid of my own stinking flesh than the “walking dead.” I cause myself more problems than any zombie can.
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
I can’t outrun my old nature; I must crucify it on a daily basis! If I live in the power of my own zombie-like self, I will die. The only way I can survive is live in the life of Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14).
So, don’t worry about what’s already dead and buried; through the Spirit put to death the deeds of your own stinking flesh, and live (Romans 8:13).
A Facebook Find
I am writing this at 10:40 pm, Sunday evening. I was just in the process of shutting everything down when I decided to take a glance on Facebook – usually a big mistake when time is an issue.
Sometimes, after a stressful day, I will sit down at the computer and just scroll for a little while. Yeah, it can be a waste of time, most certainly, but isn’t it better than watching TV? I mean, should I see something interesting I can at least leave a comment, right?
Even more than a comment, I like finding stuff I can share, either on Facebook, Twitter, or this blog. I especially love finding out about upcoming events or important stories that can benefit others.
The following is one of those finds.
While scrolling through the posts on Facebook I came across the official trailer for a movie which I am absolutely going to go see. The movie is supposed to be the true story of Desmond Doss, a local hero around these parts. Doss was a conscientious objector during WWII, but he became famous for actually going into combat to save lives.
By way of a little spoiler, just in case you’ve never heard of him, Desmond Doss won the Congressional Medal of Honor for single-handedly saving the lives of 75 injured soldiers, all while being fired upon by the enemy….and each one he personally lowered 200 ft. by rope off a bluff!
The name of the movie is Hacksaw Ridge. Here is the official trailer.
Just One More?
So, why sit down and write a blog post about a movie I’ve yet to see? Simple. Because of what I have seen.
Do you remember the heartbreaking scene at the end of the movie Schindler’s List? Remember when Schindler broke down and wept when he realized the gold in the simple lapel pin he was wearing could have saved at least one more Jew from being killed? Oh, that is a difficult bit of film to watch, but very worth it. Each time I see it I’m convicted.
In the upcoming film adaption of Desmond Doss’ story, we hear him pray, “Please Lord, just one more.” When you witness what he went through to keep going back, time after time, each time under fire, every time putting his own life at risk, will you be as convicted as me?
You see, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? And what does it profit a man to have his life saved, but then die and go to hell without ever hearing about the saving hope of Jesus Christ? If there are men out there who would put their lives on the line to save men and women from sure death, where are those crying out for the eternal souls of men?
Heaven will have its share of rewards, but how many will actually receive the equivalent of the Medal of Honor? How many of us will be commended by our Commander for braving enemy fire, scaling the jagged cliffs, and going back again and again for “just one more?” Isn’t that our mission?
Convicting, isn’t it?
I hate Halloween. But if you are a big fan, one who looks forward to the glorification of death, evil, and the grotesque, then ghoul for you. My minimal desire for bags of candy and apples bobbed for in spit-filled water is not enough to make me dress up like a satanic mass murderer, which is what most costumes seem to portray.
Actually, this time of year gets on my nerves, and one of the biggest reasons is the proliferation of horror movies. Horror movies don’t scare me that much; they tick me off! They are always full of idiots walking into the dark asking, “Buffy, is that you?” And what’s worse, so many of today’s horror flicks involve ghostly, demonic hauntings by creepy dead kids. HINT: if a soaking-wet dead girl crawls out of a well and starts climbing through your TV, change the channel (preferably to a Christian station).
On a side note, has it ever occurred to anyone that all the demonic activity pictured in horror movies is nothing more than an attempt to convince us that the spiritual realm is real?
Really, I hate Halloween. I find no pleasure celebrating the very Enemy taking my friends and loved ones to hell.
But what I really don’t get is the “undead”…zombies…Michael Jackson’s dance partners. Can somebody help me understand the logic behind the capabilities and actions of walking corpses?
There has been so much talk about zombies, lately. There have been a lot of movies and television programs devoted to grossing us out with their nastiness and appetite for human flesh. What’s the deal? Is it just an attempt to shift our attention away from the spiritual to the natural or animalistic? Who knows?
All I know is that the walking dead make no sense. Consider the following:
- Health. Why is it that when I have the flu I feel as good as dead, yet when a zombie is dead he feels more alive than me? If I break a bone I can’t function, but a zombie can have all his bones broken and break into an armored car! Have you seen what people die from? Why is it they have more energy once they’ve rotted away than when they were still exfoliating?
- Appetite. Why is it that the walking dead never seem to recognize that their fellow walkers are also human, and edible? And why are humans the only meat worth eating? Why don’t the walking dead break into grocery stores, butcher shops, and kennels? Seriously, don’t the dead understand that there is far more meat and brains in a cow?! Why eat the farmer???
- Blood. I’ve had too much experience in funeral homes to buy the idea that zombies coming out of graves have bright, red, flowing blood. How many walking dead have you seen dripping embalming fluid? Hmmm?
- Speed. Why can’t healthy people, including clumsy women in high heels, outrun people with muscles falling off the bone? Bones don’t work alone to cause movement; limbs need muscles to function. Even if one tripped over every blade of grass in an attempt to flee a rotting granny, how fast could granny be?
- Practicalities. If old people become zombies, do they have to keep their false teeth in order to chew their neighbor? Also, what is the life expectancy of something that is already dead? Oh, and when a zombie eats a human, where does the meat go? Do zombies poop?
The Real Undead
To be very honest, I am more afraid of my own stinking flesh than some dancer from Thriller.
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
I must crucify it on a daily basis and live in the life of Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14). For if I live in the power of my own zombie-like self, I will die: but if through the Spirit I put to death the deeds of this stinking body, I shall live (Romans 8:13).
That “2.0″ Part
What you just read was originally written in 2013, so it might interest you to learn what has happened since then. The girl from “The Ring” might be living in my house!
Actually, this year we decided to host a foreign exchange student from South Korea. She is a totally adorable teenager with a great sense of humor, and we love her bunches. However, I don’t think she’s ever seen “The Ring,” nor is she familiar with the black-haired, demonic ghost-girl that disjointedly crawls out of a well and through the television screen to kill people.
If she had seen the movie, and if she really didn’t want to creep me out, then maybe she would stop coming out of the shower at night, on the way to her room, with her long black hair covering her entire face.
Maybe…just maybe…when getting on my school bus in the morning, when it is dark, and sitting in a seat behind me, like she did this morning, she could uncover her sleepy face and have a smile on it when I look into the mirror!
I’ll just keep telling myself she’s never seen the movie. She hates scary movies.
Or does she?
Have you ever given pre-marital advice? Have you ever sat down with a young couple, stars in their eyes, and tried to break them up? No? Then maybe you don’t know what real marriage counseling is all about.
Honestly, one of the things I try to do before I marry a couple is to break them up. OK, no, I don’t go into a counselling session with the intent on making them run out of the room crying and screaming at each other. But what I do try to do is bring to the surface issues that might cause problems down the road which will ultimately lead to major problems, even divorce. Believe me, a lot of people could have been spared a lot pain and heartache had they been asked some serious questions before they tied the knot.
So, if you want me to conduct your wedding, you must endure at least four hours of me trying to find out if you are aware of what’s ahead.
Much like the syrupy-sweet lovers who want to jump into marriage without even considering what comes after the honeymoon phase, many are led into believing that becoming a Christian is the answer to all their problems. Because of many one-stop, Vegas-like “wedding chapels” we call “worship centers,” scores of people have been drawn into a relationship with Jesus – but without the “pre-marital” counseling.
Reality check: Following Jesus will not be easy. As a matter of fact, it might even result in a life of pain and suffering, of hunger and want. This relationship may even cost you your life.
And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Oh, make no mistake about it, entering into an eternity-long relationship with Jesus is totally worth it! Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.
See the Movie
This Friday (March 20) Do You Believe? will come out in theaters. Please, take my advice, go see this movie! It may prove to be the best spiritual “marriage counseling” you’ve had in a while. Oh, and take someone with you who is lost; you won’t regret it.
Last night I was privileged to see the new Pure Flix movie Do You Believe, which will be released in theaters on March 20. Wow!
Yes, I got to see it before the rest of you because I am uber-special and have connections. No, seriously, because I’m a pastor, I was invited by email to a screening. The purpose, of course, was to see the movie ourselves before we start encouraging others to buy tickets and flood the theaters.
Buy tickets and flood the theaters. It’s that good.
Seriously, Do You Believe fires on all 8 cylinders (that’s non-hybrid car talk). It is dramatic, well-produced, and unwilling to pull punches. Look at it this way, if you liked God’s Not Dead, you’re gonna love Do You Believe. On the other hand, if you thought God’s Not Dead was Christian propaganda, you’re gonna have an aneurysm before this movie is half-over. Do You Believe is all about the Cross and faith in Jesus Christ – no apologies.
If I could explain this movie to you in another way, I’d say it must have been derived from the classic book In His Steps. If you remember, those who believed in Jesus were challenged to walk “in His steps,” to live as He would if walking in their shoes. In this movie, those who truly believe are challenged to “carry the cross,” regardless the cost.
When God’s Not Dead was over, people were taking out their cell phones and texting “God’s not dead!” to all their contacts. When you see this movie, which I hope you do, the first thing you’ll probably do is stand and sing along with music playing during the closing credits. If you’re like some people I saw, you’ll sing with hands raised as you praise God. Others, like me, will stand shivering with tears in your eyes, realizing you’ve just been kicked in the gut by the Holy Spirit. The next thing you’ll do is go out and “do something” with what you believe.
After the movie was over, we took a little girl whom we took with us to the movie as a guest back to her home. There, for the first time, we got to sit and talk with the girl’s mother about the Gospel, about God’s love for us manifested on the Cross. It was like we were still in the theater, ’cause I even found myself, a preacher, using some the lines I’d just heard in the movie. So, what does that tell you?
Go see Do You Believe, and take the unbelievers with you. I guarantee you this: some will believe.