Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Not that I am some great movie reviewer, because I know that I am not. But when I see a great movie, I cannot help but to share my thoughts about it and what I got from it. So today, this post is about the movie Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

First, let me say that I really enjoyed this movie! It reminded me of the Matrix, but only a little different. Second, because of its complexities, there is no way I am going to nail this review perfectly without seeing it again which is something I would gladly take the opportunity to do if it presents itself.

At first glance, from the previews, it is easy to see that this movie is about dream manipulation in some shape or form. The movie does a great job in explaining what dream extraction is, which is stealing someones inner most ideas, thoughts and secrets. A little later in the movie the concept of Inception is brought up, which is actually planting an idea in someones mind so that they think it was their thought to begin with and the person would never know that you were in there head to begin with. Scary concept!

That is a great story line in itself, but the movie is actually much deeper and complex then that. The character that DiCaprio plays, Cobb, is struggling with the past. Much of that past has to do with his on screen wife named Mal and the decisions that he made to bring him to this point in his life. The word Mal, by the way, in Latin means evil. Mal had passed on some time before the movie takes place and she keeps "popping up" in the dreams that Cobb has entered into in an attempt to thwart his extraction jobs from others dreams.

This movie talks several times about taking a "leap of faith" and leaving the current world behind to enter another. The more you are in this "dream world" the more it becomes your reality and the more you want to be a part of it. The problem for them though, is that they always have to return to the current world, leaving them longing to return to the other one.

I tend to watch movies and look for "Jesus moments" or "God moments" and I love it when I find them! This movie has that all over it!

Much of Christianity is living in two separate worlds. The world view of things is much different then the Christian view of things, but as Christians, we need to be in both of these worlds. And when I am in the "world view" of things, there is a longing to be back in the "Christian view" of things. But I know at some point, I have to return to the world view at times. It is a back and forth. Just like it is in this movie, we need both worlds in order to exist.

Another subplot of this movie and in taking the "leap of faith" is going back to confront ones past. Late in the movie, Cobb realizes that he is going to have to confront Mal as more and more he is realizing that he is holding onto something that is not healthy for him or the ones around him. This is a great message for all of us. How many times do we hold onto guilt or anger or regret? There is comfort in holding onto it, in an odd sort of way, and if we hold onto that guilt or anger or regret it consumes us and turns into a different person.

In the confrontation scene, I couldn't help but to recognize the similarities of when Jesus was tempted by Satan. Kind of a "all of this can be yours" type of moment. I am not saying that Cobb was like Jesus, just saying that it was a similar type of moment as it was becoming more and more evident that Mal was evil. In order to do this "confrontation", Cobb has to go deeper into his dreams into a "lost" area. This area of his dreams is full of beauty and destruction at the same time.

So, that is what I got out of this wonderful movie. I purposely left out the very end, because nobody likes to have something totally spoiled for them. But this truly is a must see movie! If you saw it, I would be interested to know what your thoughts about it were.........

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Morning Men's Bible Group

Well, it was my turn in the leadership rotation again for my Friday morning men's bible study group. This time I decided to do something totally different for the study. Usually, we have a topic and scripture to support the topic along with questions that we ask. We usually send the study, via email, to all members of the group so that they can look it over prior to Friday morning and make notes on what ever they deem appropriate to make notes about.

This week, however, I emailed everyone that they would not get any questions until we sit down at our tables on Friday morning. Then, I had envelopes labeled 1-5. They were not allowed to go to #2 until #1 was complete which meant that they had no idea what the next question was going to be. And since they had no lead time on the questions, all the answers were spontaneous.

So what do you think of doing a study like that? It actually went over pretty good. I tried to keep the questions a little more basic, but thought provoking so that it would provide a lot of discussion.

Here were the questions:

1) In your view, what does a Christian look like? In other words, what is your definition of a Christian?

2) What do you think God's answer to question #1 would be?

3) Does your answer for question #1 differ from what you think God's answer for it would be? If so, why do you think that is? If so, what do we need to do to get our vision in line with God's vision?

4) Do you have to go to church in order to be a Christian? Why did you answer the way that you did?

5) What role could you see Social Media (Facebook, Blogs, Twitter) playing with the church? How would you expect your church to use those tools? Do you expect your church to use those tools?

If you are reading this, let me know your opinions of these....................

Friday, July 2, 2010

Todays Thought

I woke up this morning at 6:00 a.m. turned the alarm off and went back to sleep. Kimberly says "aren't you going to your men's bible group?" "Too tired" I said.

After I got up and sat down at my computer and started looking through my emails and at Facebook, I started thinking about all of the excuses I come up with from time to time to NOT to go to church or to my bible study group.

"Too Tired, didn't sleep well."

"It's been a busy week, I have been up early every day"

"Ah, someone from another church is speaking this week, don't want to listen to them"

"Ugg, another series about tithe."

As you can tell, I am feeling a little guilty about missing my group this morning. I attend more times then not. Same for the weekend service at my church. But it did pop some questions into my mind today that I have been thinking about and I thought I would share.

What if God took the same approach to me as what I do with him?

How would that make me feel?

How would I react if when I brought a problem before God he said "You know, it's been a busy week, not really in the mood to hear about right now" or "another problem about money? give it a rest already!"

Good thing God is not like that, wouldn't you agree?
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