Tag Archives: Movies

“Please Lord, Help Me Get One More”

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.

Hacksaw Ridge

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?

 

 

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, ministry, Movie review

Trying to Understand the Undead 2.0

Halloween

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.

The Undead

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?

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbur...

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbury Park NJ, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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???
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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.

Credit: "The Ring"

Credit: “The Ring”

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?

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Pre-Salvation Counseling?

Pre-Marital Counseling

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.

Salvation Counseling 

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.

 

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Life Lessons, Movie review, salvation, Witnessing

Do You Believe? YES!

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.

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Filed under Apologetics, current events, salvation, Witnessing

Movies We Should Make!

Noah

noah-280314I know, we’ve heard about all we want to hear about Noah, the unbelievably un-biblical movie meant to be a slap in the face to Bible-believers everywhere. That’s why I am not going to give you any commentary; you’ve probably read it all by now.

One thing is for sure (and this movie proves it in spades), whenever you go to a movie you’re likely to be disappointed if you think the screen adaptation is going to be as good as the book. Seriously, how often are movies as good as the books they are loosely based on? About the only ones I can think of are the first Narnia movie (Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe) and the version of A Christmas Carol that had George C. Scott in it. That’s about it.

Noah’s story, as found in the Bible, is perfectly exciting. It is full of all the things that make a great movie a great movie: drama, action, animals, exotic locations, suspense, larger-than-life sets, and colorful characters. It even has its share of death, destruction, pathos, and the miraculous. So why change all of that? Why trash the written account in order to create a fictitious, over-the-top, insulting flop?

Knoahk-offs

Maybe it’s time we go ahead and make more movies using the Noah template? Instead of calling these new movies knock-offs, we could call them knoahk-offs! I mean, why not take the stories atheists and humanists know and love and turn them into evangelical sermons?

Let me see if I can come up with a few ideas off the top of my head…

  • The God Delusion (by Richard Dawkins). In this movie, a must-see by Dawkins’ fans, Yahweh actually sits down with Little Richard (the singer) to compose a musical called “The Delusion of Unbelief.” In this unique creation (pun intended), God describes Himself to the world as a loving, sacrificial Sovereign that wants to open the eyes of unbelieving vegans.
  • God Is Not Great (by Christopher Hitchens). This movie version of a classic by the late, great Hitchens will have audiences rolling in the aisles. God Is Not Great is a Christian comedy featuring the humorous, yet humble side of the Creator. Movie attenders will laugh along with God as He mocks those who deny His existence and get a kick at how He plays practical jokes on unsuspecting, self-deluded college professors at UC Berkeley.
  • Harry Potter (by J.K. Rowling). Atheists and lukewarm Christians everywhere love the Harry Potter series of books and movies, but a remake was inevitable. Yes, a truly accurate depiction of the books (with some creative licence, of course) will be brought to the screen. Instead of witchcraft, Harry will be filled with the Holy Spirit, lead Hermione (who played in Noah) to the Lord, get married, attend Moody Bible Institute, then start Hogwarts Baptist Church in Herefordshire, UK.

So, what do you think? I don’t think anybody will be offended, do you? Freethinkers should applaud trashing the writings of their favorite authors, don’t you think? I mean, at least that’s what people are saying we Christians should do with Noah.

If Darren Aronofsky can create a Noah “for the 21st century,” there’s a lot more stories needing an update. Can you think of a few?

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Filed under Culture Wars, current events, General Observations, Humor, Movie review

Trying to Understand the Undead

Halloween

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.

The Undead

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?

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbur...

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbury Park NJ, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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???
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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).

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