Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pulp Fiction

the local church affiliated university has been running an informal series of movies chosen by professors who would like to illustrate the gospel message. i was more than a little intrigued to hear some of the choices made by profs, including last week's choice, Pulp Fiction.

i know, your reaction is Pulp Fiction? that's supposed to illustrate the gospel message? well yes, and brilliantly i might add.

first of all i had never seen the movie, which is just plain wrong on a few levels but i had seen several other of Quentin Tarantino's films and hadn't really been struck by his brilliance. i had known him to be about what i thought to be gratuitous violence and not at all about deeper thoughts like grace and redemption. but Pulp Fiction seemed to be all about redemption. seriously, i was blown away by the moments of grace in the movie. there were also significant moments of vindictiveness, justice through the eyes of tunnel visioned selfish people and judgment acted upon by individuals that should've been left to God but still there were significant moments of grace and redemption.

i had no idea that Travolta wasn't the main character, Jackson is. there are significant sidebars for Roth, Willis, Rhames and Thurman but i found it interesting the paths that everyone takes. Roth sees redemption because Jackson "buys back his life for him", Thurman sees redemption because Travolta redeems her life but Travolta never believes and sees judgment for it, Rhames sees grace because of Willis taking steps to redeem him and Willis sees redemption because Rhames cancels a debt.

the chopper that Willis steals is named Grace. the dungeon that Willis and Rhames were in was very much like a Hell environment and yet they both are redeemed from it. Willis kills Travolta with Travolta's own gun and i found it interesting that he refused to acknowledge the existence of the other world in all of his travels even though he was given 3 opportunities to see how things worked out for him over the course of the movie.

now if you're going to sit down to watch something like this you need to be prepared. the language is filthy, numerous people die and they don't die well. it's a brutal movie and it's also going to make you think. i seriously LOVED it. am i going to recommend it? maybe, it depends on who you are. i'll recommend it to all of my buddies who are willing to explore spiritual thought in its various forms but i'm certainly not recommending this to my mother.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Song

this is the 3rd winter in a row that i've been drawn to this song. i think of Wendy everytime i hear it.

Monday, January 16, 2012


gotta love Jimmy Fallon mashing up David Bowie with Tim Tebow. man am i ever tired of everyone Tebow-ing

via 22 words

Monday, January 9, 2012

things heard during worship

Isaiah 60:1

"Arise, shine for your light has come"

i have had a fascination with this verse since i was a teen. i have probably taken it out of context for most of those years because i have used it as a way to motivate myself to be more of what i am. nevertheless i do find it motivating to be compassionate and helpful. it really is an encouragement that we can be more because Jesus has come to us and we really do have a bright light at our disposal. when i lose hope i have to remember that there is hope out there somewhere and i can use that hope to arise and shine.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


*** my church community's members sharing meeting this week focused on our experiences of intergenerational community life. here is what i thought about as i considered my own experiences in that area. ***

you are a 6 year old tornado my young friend, as that is a very good thing. i have thought about my friendships with little balls of energy like you and i have seen that i see things that i like about me when i see things that i like about you.
we had a bit of a bad start, you and i. i think i understand why we had a bad start though. i remember a time when i was looking for some keys and i asked you if you had them. it must have been scary and confusing because here was this big dude who you did not really know asking about something that you figured was a bright shiny treasure that you could hold and feel important with. there was so much going on around us as i asked you about this and i completely understand why you gave me the wrong answer because i seem to give the wrong answer ALL THE TIME when there is so much going on around me. life gets big, and scary, and confusing. life stands tall above me and asks me about my little treasures all the time and sometimes i give the wrong answer. when that happened between us i should have stopped and comforted you, i should have said that "yes that was the wrong answer but you know what? i give the wrong answer all the time." there is a BIG difference between telling a lie and just being wrong and i should have stopped to tell you that.
there is lots of good news to our story though, do you want to hear it?

you saved our friendship. you did. yes, you. not me, you did it. yes its true that i helped to save it but you took the first step, the big step. that step was so huge that i'm amazed that such a little friend can take such a huge step.

you allowed me to be your friend. you ran up to me and you demanded that i must pay attention. i'm so very glad that you were so strong. i started to pay attention to you and i want you to know that i'm still paying attention to you.

a little while later i told you boy stories. there is a difference between boy stories and girl stories you know. boy stories are silly. boy stories are sometimes stupid. boy stories sometimes talk about how life sometimes gets big and scary and confusing, and sometimes boys in boy stories give the wrong answer or do the wrong thing.

what i did not say when i was telling you boy stories was that its ok to be a boy in a boy story. it is normal to be a boy in a boy story. i am a boy in a boy story and so are you. when life is big and scary and confusing and a boy in a boy story gives the wrong answer ... it's ok. you reminded me that friendships in boy stories can be saved because you saved our friendship.

that is SO important my young friend. you reminded me that i used to be 6 year old tornado too and i turned out ok. you are going to turn out ok too. you know how to save a friendship. you saved it by being who you are, a 6 year old tornado.

attaboy tornado. attaboy.