If you want to attract an honorable lady, be an honorable man.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How To Dad

I have to admit, I don't usually post commercials on my blog.

But this one....I just had to.

A commercial that shows the dad to be a proactive leader in the household, with a family reacting positively to his leadership, needs to go viral.

Like Awesome viral.



Long live awesome Dads. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

21

It's here. I am officially 21.




It's ok, you can celebrate. :)

But really. 21. I was thinking about that the other day, and was wondering what I had to show for 21 years of life. What was the number 1 thing I have learned at my ripe old age of 21?

I tried really hard to narrow it down to one thing. I tried hard, but to no avail. Life has a thrown too many lessons hand tailored by God in my direction for me to narrow it down to just one. 

The first lesson, is rather obvious, but profound. 

God is good. 

And yes, apparently it took me 21 years to really find that out. :) 

Through all my trials, biffs, stumblings, scrapes and spiritual abrasions, God has never let me go hungry, never left me in a ditch, never said 'fooey on this kid' and hucked me out for the trash pickup. He has always been there, always led me ( when I would actually listen...... ) always been handling my life so I never need worry, never need fear, despite the fact that I usually did anyway. 

One of the verses that has been the most comfort to me recently is Philippians 1:6 -

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Paraphrased down to 'God will finish what he has started' for quick and easy memory and reminders. 
God will finish what he has started. I cling to that promise, knowing that Gods promises are the only thing I can cling to in life, and that he will finish sanctifying me - some day. 


The second thing I learned is a bit original. Well, actually it isn't really original at all, but I compiled the truth of it into an original one-liner, that I am very fond of. 

We have all seen those one liner quotes from various famous or so-called smart people through time. Well, someday, I hope this quote goes that viral. It might do the world some good. 

"Those who are the most surprised at your sins and your sin nature, are the least in touch with their own." 

There it is. It's even in quotes - quoting me. :) So there, my first official quote. If I am to be remembered saying anything, I hope this line appears in there somewhere.

 The truth behind it is as old as old, but as God has revealed this truth me to recently, I kinda compiled it down to a simple phrase for easy memory. I like simple and catchy one-liners that convey heaps of truth, because I find them the easiest to remember in a tight spot. 

But seriously. Those who get the most surprised, and even offended, insulted, and upset, when they find out how much of a sinner you really are, how black your heart really is, how deep the stain of sin has really sink in your life, are the ones who are the most oblivious, or hard hearted towards their own sin-encrusted souls. 

I have a friend in the web - she probably will read this and know I am talking about her - who went through some rough times recently. On being convicted by her sin, and confessing it at large on have web, she didn't receive love, compassion, and friendly and god-centered help from friends coming alongside and pointing her in the right direction, rejoicing with her in the freedom of her release from her sins. 
She was hated. She was spurned. She was turned away by some of her friends, because they couldn't believe how 'bad' she really was. 

She did receive comfort from others, and even help and prayer, but still, she was rejected for merely being honest. 


Folks, I am sorry to say, but those people have more sin down deep than she does, and what's worse, they are blind to it, by their own choice. 

The people who are really in touch with their own soul, really convicted by God as to the wickedness of their own, the ones who are starting to realize, and experience the far reaching effects their sin nature has on every aspect of their life, are not surprised when they find their friends in the same boat. They know their own depravity, and therefore understands and rejoices when someone else finds themselves in similar waters. 

I struggle so much with my own lack of faith, doubt, pride, anger, lust, greed, lack of self control, that sometimes I wonder if I am the only one with such problems. Of course I know others do, but when nobody talks, nobody knows.   


I will summarize the point with a resolution, in hopes of helping being the solution to the problem - To be more open. A resolution to be more honest as to how I really am. If people are having a hard time being open as about their problems, then I guess I will try to do my part to make it easier, and tell more people how I really am doing.  

Which lately, hasn't been so hot. 

I find myself struggling so hard with doing what I know I should be doing. My inner self is surprisingly selfish and hostile to everything that gets in the way of what I want to do. I honestly have been rather surprised at my own depravity. 

I am finding out that I am a rebel. I die-hard rebel, and not just one in grey wool - one in black, or at least, with a black heart. 

And since I was surprised, I guess that means I guess I didn't understand my own sin nature, which then explains why I was surprised, because I didn't understand....

Sorry, gets a bit circular there. 

But anyway, It has become more and more clear to me that the only thing good in me is Christ. 

Period. Flat out. No joke. I guess Paul wasn't kidding. 

I thought I was a pretty good dude. You know, smart, homeschooled, didn't shoot people, was pretty nice, had lots of friends, could shoot pretty straight, hunt, fish better than most in my groups, big muscles, yada yada yada. 

Your mind can tell you big and mighty things when it is trying to avoid the realization of your own real lost-ness and depravity.  

But then of course, God doesn't leave you there. Thankfully. Breaks them lies. Reveals cold hard truth.

Then starts building.  

He is teaching me to honor him in my heart, and not just the outside. Submitting don't come natural to me. 
Yes Mullins fans, I learned that quote from him. :) 
   
So my life is one solid battle right now, with moments of victory and moments of defeat, often not too far apart. Praying, fighting, falling, failing. 

And getting back up again. 



For a Righteous man may fall seven times, and rise again, 

Proverbs 24:16  



So all of you out there who think I am a little nuts - I am. Lately my biggest Public-Enemy-#1 has been myself. 

But I am bound and determined, I will go down. 

He must increase, I must decrease. 

God will finish what he has started.  

And it certainly wont be by 22. : )


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Close, But No Cigar

Especially for us younger generation, the thoughts, ideas, and daydreams of romance, marriage, and love tend to be rather at the forefront of our minds.

Just admit it.

We can give lots of good, solid biblical reason for it, and lots of them are truly legit.


But what about the world? Lately I have kinda been wondering at the vast obsession of lovers and romance, physical, and emotional. Being ' in love ' is right next door to being ' in heaven '.

Why the hype? Honestly, relationships can be painful, and the world usually tend to try to ward off pain with a ten foot stick slathered in GMO's and Corn Syrup. They are always looking for the ultimate romance, the ultimate fill in the next lover, the next moonlight night, the next long kiss, the next .... yeah, I'll stop there.

 But despite all the hearts and arrows, I think the rest of the world might be closer to the answer than they, or we, realize.

We tend to bash the rest of the world for being so obsessed with romance and love (again, emotional and physical) that we miss the vast point that drives the whole situation, and it puts the world in a different light altogether. And in fact, many of them got the boat while we flounder in the water after missing the pier completely.


God says that he instituted marriage - romance and the whole sheebang included - as a picture of the relationship between Christ and his church. A picture of our relationship with God.

Relationships.

Romances are really about relationships. Deep, loving, caring, relationships.

For the unsaved person, that is as good as it gets in this world - they have no relationships with God, so the next best thing is with each-other.

They actually got closer to the heart message of life than many of us Christians. They have found (even if they don't realize it) that nothing is quite as good as a good relationship.

And what do most of us Christians harp over way too often?

Say it....




Rules.

Can't have tattoos. Can't go out dates. Can't have boyfriends. Can't wear makeup. Can't drink.

You know the lineup - all the things we harp and obsess over, and have a hissyfit around when someone else disagrees, or even worse, crosses the line, because we all know the world will cease to orbit the sun, the mountain will cave in, and the seas will turn to molten magma if the Jones' decide to drink a beer on the lawn.

Now don't get me wrong - I am never saying rules are a bad thing, by a long stretch, I am just saying that the Christian world tends to hang limbo there and squawk at anyone who doesn't have their monkey-bars spaced the same distance apart.

But it is so much more than that.

Christianity is about nothing more than relationships, and how Christ came to ultimately fix our broken relationship with him, and we can then have good relationships with everyone else down here because of our relationship with him.

Sure, there are rules - God made them, so I can't exactly argue can I? Of course we need to obey them.
Just saying.

But one of the biggest reason why we are commanded not to sin, is that it ruins our relationship with God. It was our sin in the garden that ruined our relationship with God in the first place.

See? The world, in all their sensual driven madness, was close, so close, to the ultimate answer. They know (for the most part....) that it can't be in stuff - even big boys with their big boy toys want to have their guy and girl friends out with them on the water and on the dunes.

They just missed who the relationship is with.


We happen to know, and can benefit from that relationship in more ways than we yet know, but we certainly have no right to look down on the world for their drive towards romance.

They know, and are trying as hard as they can to find the ultimate relationship, but can't because the only ultimate relationship is to be had with God - any other relationship will eventually let you down.

They are so close.

But, quoth the old adage, no cigar.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Top Ten Myths About Country Life - Debunked

Ok, this post has been floating about in my mind now for a while, and at last, I am bringing it down to earth and to the cybernook I call my blog.

So, I have found there is a lot of hype about the country life, and whether you know it or not, a lot you believe about living in the country probably isn't true - unless of course you already live there, in which case you should relate to this post marvelously.

Ready for them? I wish I could arrange these in 10 - 1 order, but I cant decide in which order they should go. I will however save the biggest myth for the last - nice little climax. :)

So here we go -The Top Ten myths about the Country.


#10 -  Everybody is nice and polite in the country
Ha, I so wish this was true, but no, to do that, we would have to eliminate all people - which would make country living rather hard wouldn't it?
I have heard of, and met, my share of country jerks, and while they might not be in the same quantities as un the city, oh boy do they exist.




#9 - Everybody in the country listens to country music.
This is one is debatable as to whether or not it is preferable, but no, certainly not true. I have heard a good share of everything else out in my neck of the woods.
Granted, I would say country music is preferred out here, but is not unanimous across the board.

#8 - Everybody in the country dun be dumb rednecks.
Ok, just because you know me doesn't mean you can judge the rest of us that way. :D
But really, my neighbor, plus one guy I know pretty well up the road, are engineers at Boeing. Seriously. They have some serious smarts up there, and the country is littered with people who are far brighter than you ever dreamed a pair of simple jeans and t-shirt could hold.


Speaking of which .....

#7 - Everybody in the country wears jeans, or overalls.
I have seen a wide variety of clothes out here, from jeans, to overalls, to coveralls, to shorts, shorts so short you cant even call them shorts anymore, Khakis, skinny jeans, jeans with so many holes there is more holes than jeans, dress pants, yeah. It's all here. Jeans certainly have center stage, but again, is not unanimous.


#6 -  Everybody in the country has cows and chickens at the very least.
Dead wrong. Me and my neighbor are the only ones on our street that has chickens. Cows appear about once every two blocks. You would not believe the amount of people who move out here just to get some land and make it look nice, then just sit at it and stare at it. Literally. There are tons of people out my way who have no animals besides dogs, and maybe a stray barn cat or two.

#5 - Goats are these lovely quiet animals that stand still to be milked, and sheep are docile and follow the shepherd quietly wherever he goes.

Let me inform you.

When Christ compared Christians to sheep, that wasn't exactly a compliment. Sheep are scatterbrained, dumb, do whatever everybody else is doing, even if it is dumber than what they are presently doing, are obsessed with food, and can get so scared they will literally kill themselves.

Sound familiar?

Oh, and when he compared the unsaved to goats - Ha - depending on the goat, that could be a flat out insult. Of course Christ wasn't insulting people - goats are actually a very god word picture of unsaved people - It's just that goats in real life are so downright .... (thinking of nice word...) .... Evil.

I have heard stories of nice, quiet, behaving goats, kinda like all those rumors you hear about dragons in Antarctica.



And yes, they will eat anything.

Goats will intentionally look for ways to do what you know you don't want them to do, and you can see them calculating in their minds how much longer they can pull off their mischief until you get to them.

I plain out don't like goats, and sheep are ok - for their purpose.

The way I see it, there is a reason God said sheep are going to Heaven, and goats are going to Hell.

Just saying.  



#4 - We live on Ham, steak, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, and home-baked pies.
Oh Golly I wish. I would be one happy dude - imagine all that meat..... Oh yeah, I could do that - if I was flat out rich.

#3 - We spend the evenings sitting on the front porch and watch the sunset.
Like, never.
We are usually busy feeding animals at that time - everyday. Silly things need feeding regularly.
Some of us don't even have a front porch. We do, and it even has a swing in it, but we hardly ever get to use it. :)

#2 - We all have rocking chairs on the front porch.
Literally, the last time I saw a legit rocking chair was at Cracker Barrel.  Nuff Said.

Ready for the  #1 Myth about the country life? This might surprise you.

ROOSTERS DON'T CROW AT THE SUNRISE.


They just don't. Know why?

Because they crow ALL. THE. TIME.  - I heard one crow at 3:00 A.M once. They crow in the morning. They crow in the evening. They crow anytime in-between they feel like it. They just crow.

Honestly, I really have no idea where this one came from, because it is so far out there, it just simply had to be nearly made up out of someones head. Someone woke up, heard the rooster crow, and just randomly decided that the rooster had to be crowing at the sun, because he obviously wasn't crowing at the llama.

Or something like that...


So there they are! All ten of them, debunked. Country like just ain't what it's all chalked up to be.

Got any other country myths that your backwoods life has debunked? I would love to hear them!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Unsafe

From time to time for sheer amusements sake and for just 'keeping tabs on the culture', I watch videos on youtube where people argue about gun control. The majority I see are Piers Morgan vs. _____, and most of them follow the same basic blueprint.

 

Anti-gunner says world would be safer if nobody only law enforcement had guns, or make guns ridiculously hard to get a hold of. Gun advocate throws in a few statistics about how things are safer with guns, and proceeds to get adamant about their guns and their constitutional rights, ending in a stereo-typical 'you can have my guns one round at a time' statement. 

Piers rightly states that most gun advocates that get on that type of show all do that, with little variation. He appears to be dead right. 

Of course, the gun advocates are usually right in their analysis, when it comes to statistics, motivations, etc., but  over and over again, it seems to me that they miss the real mark. There is a real point, way deep down past the layers of anti-gunners arguments, rules, and TV talk shows. 

The real nugget? The real deal behind guns, drugs, teen drivers, and cattle ranchers?

They (Fill in that Pronoun with your party of choice) think they can make the world safe. They think that with all their rules, regulations, and lack of freedom, keeping the law-abiding citizen tacked to his chair in an attempt to pin the criminal, that somehow, someway, the world will be safe.     

Safe.

Oh the word, they roll it around in their mouth in sheer joy at it's sound. They harp on it daily, as a matter of fact. Gun control is worth it - stiffer driving laws are worth it - higher taxes for 'better' schools are worth it - if they can only keep one person safe. 


I have been thinking on this, and I want to see if I can put this question, this issue, to rest in one fell swoop, because the answer is not what it may at first appear.  

Fear is a deadly thing, and to be honest, it drives most people. Fear of looking bad in front of their friends. Fear of losing money in the stock market. Fear of being hurt. Fear of pain. Fear of insignificance. Fear of insecurity. Fear of fear itself. 
In this case, fear of un-safety. ( I just found out that isn't a word..... oh well.)

In the New Captain America (review coming sometime.... I hope..) there is a stunning line.


Nick Fury has just finished telling Cap how they are about to launch their next step in anti-terrorism - basically to kill anyone who might even be the tiniest possibility of a terrorist with massive souped-up drones. 

Cap: I thought the punishment came after the crime?
Nick: Here at Shield we take the world as it is, not as we like it to be.

Cap: By holding a gun to everybody's head and calling it freedom.   


Freedom is the other side of the coin. 

Freedom is never safe. Total safety is never free. Think about it. If you have the freedom to cut yourself if you pick up that knife sitting next to you, there is a slight risk in that freedom. You just might be dumb and cut yourself. If, however, that knife is removed, technically you no longer have the freedom to hurt yourself with that knife, and again, technically the risk is gone. You are safe now, right? 

The world is scared stiff of getting hurt and getting rubbed wrong, so of course the way to make everybody safe is to make sure that no-one is free. 

The bad guys in Cap 2 ( no spoilers out there for those who haven't yet seen it ) say in the movie that the world can't be trusted with its own freedom - they have to take it away to make it safe. 

Sure, freedom is scary. It means someone might use their freedom to do you harm. They might use their freedom to do something you don't like. The list goes on of things that they could do with their freedom that are potentially harmful, and the quick and obvious solution is to just take away all freedom - far, far safer that way. 
The militia, or even worse, the rabble minded public at large, might decide to storm the capital if capitol hill does something they decide is dumb, therefore lets just make things much safer and remove all public guns. Oh yes, that's better. Safe....

All you gun-toters and conservatives out there, pause just a second though. Don't get yourself too saddled up on your high-horse there. You ain't off the hook either.  

Christ commands us to love. Love unconditionally as a matter of fact, and unconditional love is unsafe. 


It's hard, admit it. 

Ladies, if you do the right thing and don't snap back when your husband is rude to you and run roughshod and (gasp!) unloving over your life, and love him back and serve him, it means he still has the potential to keep on doing it. And that hurts. Are you going to keep loving him? Serving him? 

Guys, when she is disrespecting you, not honoring you, loving her when she is being nasty and a bit of a jerk is not second nature. Being loving keeps you open to more hurt, more pain. 

It's so much easier to take away their freedom to hurt you, by merely walling yourself up, and being unloving back.    


So much safer. 

And that is ultimately why tyranny is wrong - it is the ultimate version of distrust and lack of love. One man in a big chair thinks that to keep himself and his rule safe and happy, he must keep the entire nation under his heavy and blood stained thumb, because freedom is far, far to dangerous. Any and all freedom is a threat to him, so it must all go. Every last bit of freedom.

But Christ knew this, and still left those around him free. Free to hurt him, free to kill him - and kept loving them even when they did. 

And he had total freedom to wall them all off, blast them all to smithereens, and bring the world back down to serene safety. 

Oh that word is starting to bug me...... maybe that is why I like guns without safety's.... That thought literally just came through my mind. Odd.    


Anyway, he didn't do any of that. He used his freedom to love them back, and ultimately, that freedom and love, is what makes us free today, and what makes us love him today. 

Odd isn't it? Without freedom, we cant love. If God never gave us freedom to hate him, we would never actually have the choice to love him. To make the conscious choice one way, there has to be the possibility, and the freedom, of turning the opposite way. 

And that is one of the reasons why I think we should have no other laws besides the biblical laws, because then, and only then, are we being totally loving to our neighbor. I don't believe we should have stupid laws that try to keep ourselves safe from other peoples stupidity. 

Like age limits on driving and owning guns. Really?  Just have the laws in place to punish them if they actually do do something biblically worthy of punishment from the state. Like killing somebody. 
But hey, whatcha know, the Bible has laws on how to deal with that. 

Lets not have anymore of these laws that make the cops come out and play sandbox mediator when we have a fender bender, so nobody can ever be taken advantage of by a jerk who insists it was your fault he hit your bumper, and takes off down the road, leaving you having to now repair your car. 

It's just a big-fat case of not really loving your neighbor. 

But lets be a little more down home shall we?

Let's no longer wall everybody off who is hurting us, be unloving, because that is the easiest way to keep us and our emotions safe. 

Lets instead be open - be loving - be ready to be hurt, be ready to be taken advantage of, be ready for humiliation, be content with things being 'unsafe',  because then, and only then, are we really, truly, loving. 


       

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Frozen: Review

Ok, I know everybody and their brother (sister?) have been harping about this movie ever since it came out. Some say it's amazing, some say it's typical Disney garbage, and of course there is everything in-between.

I'm not here to shoot a dead horse, but in my opinion, it seems everybody else's attempts to lay the beast low has rather missed the mark.

So, with no further ado, lets get down to the chilly. Catchy songs, excellent graphics, and witty humor have made this movie the most popular Disney since the Lion King.


 

Major spoiler alert - Just throwing that out there. This movie requires an overlay for the review to really make any sense.

So, the story line follows the lives of two girls, Elsa and Anna, daughters of the king of a place I am not going to try to spell.

Elsa has the powers from birth to create almost anything related to ice, snow, frost, or winter, and growing up, she uses those powers to have fun with her little sister Anna, playing in the homemade snow in the great room of the castle.

In a freak accident however, Anna is hurt by an icy blast to the head from Elsa, attempting to make a snow mound to keep her from falling. Anna is unconscious and growing slowly colder, and her parents rush her to some stone trolls who heal Anna, but say that it is safer that Anna's memories of Elsa's powers be erased from her mind, but still leaving the memories of the good times they had together. Elsa is told that she needs to stay away from her sister, so as not to hurt her again. The castle doors are to be locked, the staff is reduced, in the kings attempts to hide Elsa's powers

Elsa and Anna grow up, Elsa eternally locked in her room to try to mask her ever growing power, and Anna, of course having no memories of the accident is constantly wondering why they can't play anymore.

When the parents die at sea, Elsa is left in command when she comes of age, as queen of the kingdom.


When the castle doors are opened at the coronation day, attention starved Anna bumps into a dashing young prince Hans, prince of another kingdom far away, but not destined for a throne due to 12 older brothers ahead of him in line for kingship.

Anna falls head over heels for Hans, and that night announces to Elsa, who has come out from her room for the coronation, wearing gloves to try to keep her power contained, that Her and Hans are getting married.
Elsa of course refuses the arrangement, and in an altercation between her and Anna and the crowd that ensues, loses control and throws layers of ice around the castle and surrounding area.

Elsa is of course mortified at the slip, and the people at the castle are horrified at her powers, some calling her a monster. Elsa flees the castle across the harbor, the water turning to ice under her feet as she runs.

Elsa retreats to the North mountain, and using her powers for the first time to its fullest extent, builds an ice palace for her to live in, sad that she had to flee, but immensely happy that she no longer has to conceal her powers and is free to enjoy them and use them. Unknown to her though, is that now the entire area is now in a solid wintery state, even freezing all the ships into the harbor.


Anna sets off to find Elsa, and along the way runs into an ice cutter, Kristof, with his reindeer Sven, and shortly after runs into Olaf - a magical talking snowman made by Elsa.

Anna is led to Elsa by Olaf, and in an attempt to convince her to come back, accidentally gets a shard of ice through her heart, and is kicked out of the ice palace by Elsa's personal snow giant.

Kristof takes Anna to his 'family' of stone trolls that adopted him when he was young, the eldest of the trolls telling them that if Anna didn't do an act of true love shortly, her heart would completely freeze, and her entire body would turn completely to ice. Some of the Stone Trolls think that a true loves kiss just might pull it off.  

Kristof rushes Anna back down the mountain towards the Castle, meanwhile, Hans has lead an expedition towards Elsa to try to bring her back himself. An ice fight ensues, and Elsa is captured and brought back to the castle in custody.


Kristof arrives after Hans returns, and turns Anna back over to Hans, and Anna demands that he kiss her, in order to save her. Hans, once alone with her, slowly freezing to death from the inside out, tells her that he never really loved her, and only wanted to marry her so he could make his way to a throne, never going to get there any other way, since he is the youngest of 13 brothers in a distant kingdom. He reveals his plot to kill Elsa and makes himself king, and dousing the fire so as to eliminate all warmth, locks Anna in the room to die.

Olaf, the jovial snowman he is, hacks into the room by picking the lock with his carrot nose (hows that for ingenuity) and starts a fire to warm Anna, telling her that Kristof showed her more love than Hans, doing all that he did for her, and Anna thinks that he might be her true love.

She heads out of the room that is now unlocked, but Elsa escaped her cell, and is now whipping up a massive storm over the country.

Kristof, who was leaving the area but sees the storm and heads back towards Anna, riding hard on his trusty Sven.


All the characters meet in the frozen Harbor. Elsa is trying to leave the area, Hans is trying to catch her, Anna is freezing to death inside and out, seconds left before she dies, trying to make it to Kristof. On her way towards Kristof, she sees Hans getting ready to kill Elsa, and turning around, stands in the way of Hans, finally turning completely to ice, Hans' sword shattering on her frozen body. Elsa is mortified, but in a few seconds, Anna turns back into human form, having performed the 'true act of love' before she died, thus thawing her out.

Hans is chucked in jail, Elsa unwinterfies the area, on learning that love can thaw a frozen heart, and everybody goes back to happy lives, Kristof in charge of the ice business for the area, and Elsa rulling happily in the castle, using her ice powers for peoples enjoyment at the castle.

*Sigh*

Ok, sorry that took so long, but this story required some elaboration to fully explain my opinion of it.

I will have to admit, I was prepared to like this movie, and came with very high expectations due to tid-bits I head heard from friends.

This story is built on two levels. One level follows Elsa, the other follows Anna. One level is great, the other level, and unfortunately the more predominate, is not so great.

The side that follow Elsa is deep, realistic and involved, as you see her constantly battling her deep fears, emotions constantly raging to and fro in her. She is torn by her love for Anna, whom she wants to be with but can't, and her fear of the world knowing her powers. The audience gets very connected with Elsa and her turmoil right off the bat, I think because we all can relate with all trying to stuff who we really are and what we really are afraid of. One also feels a lot of pity for her, as she as portrayed as misunderstood and confused. The chords struck by Elsa and her struggles go deep into human nature, giving her side of the movie a feeling of depth and reality not seen in many movies, let alone Disney movies. One can relate to her as a person - a real person.

She thinks she can be free and have peace by leaving everything behind and living by herself and do whatever she likes. But she soon finds out that doing that resulted in freezing the entire country over. Her selfishness ruins things for everybody. When she finally learns she can still be her, yet use her powers to help people, she finds peace and fulfillment. Meaning and purpose were found doing what she was good at for the help of others.

That side of the movie was great, and refreshing.

But unfortunately, that side of the movie is the smaller, and less prominent side.

The other level follows Anna, attention starved, and looking for love. The Anna side is *not* deep, and follows the general well-trodden path of Disney romance. Her personality is shallow, with little real emotion besides wanting love and attention, and is the typical Disney heroine - Pretty, fearless, slightly dingy, but overly focused on romance and marriage. There is little to no remnant of real humanity left in Anna, but is all hollywood girls are made up to be.


And that is why I think this story gets so much credit from people. The beginning of the story focuses a lot on Elsa and her struggles, setting the story up very well indeed, setting the stage for a very deep and resolving climax about the real meaning of love and not being afraid of who we are. 

Yet it doesn't deliver. It poses this great, deep heart level problem, and then tries to answer the deep questions and heart problems with the garden variety romance typical of most Disney's. It starts deep, and ends shallow. It ends on a note that doesn't resolve. 

The entire 'Anna' side of the movie centers around the 'love' theme, and Anna spends most of that time thinking that 'true love' is that mushy feeling that gives you a buzz. Granted, she finds out Hans is a stinker, 'true love' is all bunk, and Kristof is really her hero, but it is all still a romance - call it a back-door romance if you want, but it is still a romance.  So, when at the end, she suddenly turns from going to Kristof and sacrifices herself for Elsa, it doesn't fit with the rest of her character that has been propounded for the entire movie. It feels faked and scripted. 

This side of the movie is shallow and lacks lasting meaning.  


So you have the two halves of the movie working away as the movie progresses, but then they try to tie the two halves together at the end, and say that love (granted, they do say love sacrifices itself for those it loves), the right guy, the bad dude chucked, and happily ever after will solve all the problems. They try to have the same fix for both halves, which of course leaves one side hanging - in this case the good side was left unanswered, and the shallow side was patched on as a pseudo-fix. 

I could go on, but you get the general gist. Overall, I really was disappointed and not impressed. 

But, I will throw in a caveat.

If you watch this movie with a Biblical worldview, there is a lot of good that can be picked out of the movie. A lot of good. 'True love at first sight' romance is bashed pretty solidly. Score. Kristof, slightly seclusive, selfish, and withdrawn at first, goes through a nice, if not hurried character growth by the end of the movie. Very nice touch. The slice of 'true love sacrifices itself for others' that is there at the end is very nice, and pretty well done. What good it has, it does well. 

But you have to have your brain turned on during the movie. The danger with this movie, is that if you don't think your way through it, you don't realize the problem they pose at the beginning isn't solved by the resolution at the end.  You end up thinking that the quasi-romance, she gets the guy, happily ever after is the answer to *both* problems.

AND ITS NOT. 

That is why I am not overall impressed with this movie. For the rest of the non-thinking world, this movie is deadly, especially for girls. It sets them up thinking that all their deep heart longings and problems in life can and will solved by merely finding the right guy. Granted, it might not be the 'love at first sight' finding the guy, but romance still is posed as the answer.

One has to do some serious shifting aside of all the Disney styro-snow, to get a message out of the movie that is worth it.

And I think if you can do the mental snow shoveling required, you will walk away refreshed by the movie - but the shoveling is serious. I don't recomend this movie for most girls, because (my mom agreed) girls will have a harder time wading past the romance than the boys will. It's not the best for boys, but it shouldn't affect them as much.


So, all in all, if you could have the movie just focused on Elsa, I think they could have a great movie. Or if they made the movie three times as long, and sorted out all the wrong feelings, and had characters come around in a way that felt more realistic, it could have had potential.

As it is, it's ok. It isn't one of my favorites, but the songs are catchy, and Olaf is awesome. He got pretty close to tying Rhino for my favorite animated character.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars. Above average, but still not as great as it's hyped up to be.

Have you seen it? What is your take on the movie? (and what's your favorite Olaf line?)  : )

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Slice of Heaven - Glimpse of God

Ok, guys, sorry it has been a while. Lots of stuff  - as usual - happening all over the place.
But, I came down with something, giving me some time to finally blog. I have had so many different blog ideas lately, ranging from finally posting reviews on Thor 2 and the second Hobbit, to doing a completely random post on the top ten myths about farm life and country living, and other things that pop into my head as I go through my daily jaunts.

This particular topic has been in the back of my mind for a while now, longer than most other topics.

It all got started with a quote from C.S. Lewis, in the last Chronicles of Narnia book.

 

"Listen, Peter. When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, he meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and will always be here: just our old world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan's real world."

The quote goes on longer than that, but you get the general gist. It goes on to compare the old Narnia and the new Narnia to looking in a mirror and seeing a landscape behind you. Like, but not quite the same.

Two thoughts emerged from this quote. One is pure speculation, the other, might have a little more validity.

First thought: is our heavens and earth right now, a mere shadow and glimpse of the new heavens and new earth?

Do we like stunning scenery, high mountains, blue oceans, green pastures, white waterfalls, and thick forests, because somehow, someway, they are a glimpse of heaven?

  

 




As an outdoorsy, I get a good view of the whopping world that is out there that God has made  - 
But just imagine the new heavens and the new earth

Like I said, that is all merely speculation. it could be a legitimate speculation, but a speculation none-the-less.

The second thought, I think has a little more validity, and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. 

How much of what we like about life, whether it be music, outdoors, sewing, or epic adventures, do we like them because somehow, without even realizing it, we like them because they somehow reflect the nature and personality of God?

This isn't a reprimand along the lines of 'liking things that only somehow are overtly reminiscent of God', this is meant to pose a possible reason why we enjoy life, because it points back to it's origin.   

Maybe we like the the tiny flowers on the side of the path, because somehow, they are a glimpse of  God. A glimpse of how even the tiny details, or the smallest obedience matters so much to him.   


Or how about the night sky? Maybe that is an insight to his vast creativity. 

 

Or maybe the reason we appreciate beauty in the first place is because God in himself is beautiful. 

We like people who are personable and can relate, because we know that God is personal, and relate-able. 


Or how about music?

(warning - all pieces reference here are some my personal favorites, so if you think there is a slight bias....you might be right)  

Maybe we like pieces like this, because we know God has a kind, soft heart towards those who are his. 


Or maybe we like sad pieces because Jesus himself wept at a friends death. 


And epic music - oh boy - maybe we like it because God has an epic plan for our life, if we merely obey him. 



And maybe we like majestic music, because it is a taste of what we will hear in heaven praising God. 



Maybe we like pieces that remind us of the memories and joys of home, because we know that God has made the home and family one of the key elements to his plan. 



All of you non - LOTR fans, just ignore the fact that this music is from there and enjoy the piece. You'll be glad you did. : ) 


Maybe, just maybe those are a tiny insight as to the nature of God. Just maybe. : )

I think there has to be something within mankind that we don't realize, that is naturally drawn to the things that reflect and mirror the nature and characteristics of God, despite the fact that they try to deny his existence. 

I think he gives us those things as extra reminders, as pointers, to remind us of him. 

But that is my theory, and no more than that. 

What things about the world and life remind you of the character of God?