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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Real Me

We all have a dark side. 

We all have that secret self, that deep deep dark person, who lives in the bottom of our hearts, and comes out to haunt us. It reminds us of all the things we wish we hadn't done, whispers all our secret fears, and tells us everything we didn't want to hear about ourselves.

It quietly motivates everything you think and do, making you who you are by subtle traits and consistent threads that weave together and make your personality, most of the time the personality we want to hide.

We stuff it down, wash our face, take a good deep breath, and go about all the things we have consciously made ourselves do and think and believe -  go back to the 'real' you, that good boy with the big smile that everybody knows. Go back to the confident, bold person you have made yourself, not aware, or at least for a while, that that dark side has crept back in and is moving behind the scenes again.  

A least, that's how I used to view it. I saw it as if there was this dark side, always vying with you, trying to always come out, take over, and dominate you, and it was always your task to shove it down, kill that black stain upon your reputation, and keep that shiny, reputable you in normal health.  

I see it a little differently now.

It's not a black side, not an alternate identity.

It's who you really are - the real you.
In fact, it's exactly opposite of what I thought before. It's not the real you on the outside, battling a dark side within. It's the real you inside, trying to live up to the mask on the outside. Everything you thought you were, was a farce, a prop, a cast you molded yourself into because you didn't want to be what you were before - you couldn't bear to see the real you in the mirror, so you hid it in a different you, to make it more bearable and likable. 

Not too long back, I made this discovery in my life. I found out the real me, deep under the skin, with all its fears, with all its layers of armor put up to protect the vulnerable person beneath. I realized the real me, why I am who I am, why I fear certain things, why I wear inner armor to keep the real me in and out of sight. 

Far to often in the blogging world, we Christian bloggers have our blog face - our version of an actors stage face. We appear on our blog, write a beefy and theological post, showing off our intellectual weightlifting skills and spiritual maturity, then click post and return to real life - the blogging face still on the web smiling at all passers by. 

It's time to be real folks - the person we are fooling the worst is ourselves.

After realizing this in my life, I am trying to learn to be open, let the real me come out. Not to show off to the world, but to be rid of my real weaknesses, to let Christ's strength fill the void, and to stop living a lie. One of the keys to strength is to admit your weakness, and by admitting your real fears and real disbeliefs, you can then face them, pray for them, and submit them to God. Then, and only then, can you deal with the real you. It's hard to clean what's stuffed to far in the corners to come out - you've got to let it breathe.

I want to be real guys, I don't want to you think I am something I aint.

I am not a great Christian, a theological big-wig, an impenetrable redneck or some other representation of something noteworthy and invulnerable. 

I'm not. plain and simple. 

I am a fearful man - really. I live in fear most of the time, and most of the time without even realizing it. 

I fear not living up to the standard - again.

I am afraid of not being good enough - again.

I hate being vulnerable, open to hurt. I've been hurt so many times, it's so much easier to close off and be outwardly impenetrable, to prevent being hurt - again.

I hate being put down and being belittled - again.

I hate being sub-class, and under par - again.

I hate being lonely and left out - again.

Yeah, believe it or not, that's me. The real me.

I'm a  pretty lonely person. I want companionship, someone to be there to share all my day's ins-and-outs.

I am a pretty vulnerable person.What you say to me or about me will influence me pretty deeply.

I am constantly falling short of the mark, not meeting par, and am afraid of not being good enough for my friends.   

I rate myself and my friends on a level of how they/I act and what they/I believe.

I am constantly trying to make myself more than I am, because I feel like less than I want to be.

I fear walking through life with the label and title of someone who just didn't cut it, just wasn't up the the mark.

But now that I realized that, I can deal with it. All of these things that I am were constantly getting me here or there emotionally or physically, and I couldn't figure out how to deal with it, since I kept trying to deal with it on the surface. I know now what lie I am believing when I feel a certain way, do a certain action, and say certain things, and can pray and act specifically, knowing where the real problem lies - way, way deep down in me.

But that's who I am, and I have to be content with who I am, because I  am who God made me, where God made me. If God, looking through Christ's blood, is content with me, what right have I to be any less?

Be real, be open guys. Stop living a lie, and let the real you out into the light. It's time to be you - the real you. And yes, I know the real you is scary - the real me was pretty scary as well.

I won't think any less of you, or at least, I hope I won't. I know right where you are - I really do. It's a hard spot to pull off that mask and look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what type of person you are.

But it's worth it.

         Who are you?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thor: Review

Well, I have to say I am becoming rather fond of super-hero movies. After Captain America and Avengers, Thor was naturally coming down the pipe eventually. I had heard some good comments about the movie, and I really wanted to give it a go, especially since #2 is coming out this fall. 

I have to say I wasn't expecting what was coming.

Thor is the first born of Odin, king of Asgard, ruler of the realm that rules the entire cosmos, and boy oh boy he knows it. He is proud and arrogant, headstrong and authoritative. 

On the day of his coronation, the arch-enemies of Asgard, the Frost giants of Jotunheim, invade the weapons vault and try to reacapture their power source taken from them years ago when Asgard defeated them in a battle to save planet earth. 

Thor is furious, and with his four friends and his brother Loki, Thor sets out to teach the Frost giants a lesson, against his fathers express wishes not to. 

After traveling to Jotunheim and wrecking things for a bit, Odin comes to Jotunheim himself and brings Thor back from his streak of vengeance. Thor is removed of his power and title, and is banished to earth. 

Thor runs into, or should I rather say, is run into, by three scientists studying strange behaviors of the night sky, after being hurtled from the heavens into the dirt in the middle of the night. 

His father threw his hammer down after Thor, with these words. "Whosoever shall hold this hammer, if he be worth, he shall possess the power of Thor." 

Thor is at first taken to the hospital, but after wrecking the place up and being placed in stricter confinement, sneaks out on the streets of a small town in New Mexico.

The crater sight where Thor's hammer landed, in the meantime has become the sight of great interest. Only whoever is worthy can hold the hammer, and it is otherwise unliftable to any. Every redneck within fifty miles 
shows up and is having contests to see if anybody can pick it up, until the government arrives and kicks everybody out, sure that the hammer is some sort of international threat. 

Thor hears about this, and tries to regain his hammer. He still hasn't gotten the message his father tried to tell him. He is proud and unworthy, and is unable to lift it out of the rock it is embedded in. Thor finally gets the message - he is no longer a God, a superior race. He is a man, and no more. 


After some ins and outs with the government and his new found friends, Thor is released from his governmental captors, and is set at liberty with his friends. 

While all of this is transpiring, trouble is brewing in Asgard. Turns out his brother Loki, always jealous of Thor, was the one who let the frost giants in that day in Asgard, just to ruin Thor's big day. Now, Thor's father is fallen ill, and Loki is reigning on the throne. Thor's four friends start to smell a rat, and set off to find Thor.

Thor has been told by Loki that his father is dead, and Thor must stay in banishment so Loki can patch up a treaty with Jotunhiem, the treaty being hinged upon the point that Thor is out of the realm. Thor is now informed by his friends that no, his father isn't dead, and what Loki was saying was a lie. 

Loki gets wind that the four warriors left for earth, and sends the guardian of the relics of Asgard, the Destroyer, to kill Thor and wipe out the small town.

The destroyer messes up the town, and Thor, in an act of self-sacrificial heroism, tells Loki (who for some reason can hear him there on earth) that he is sorry for whatever he did to cause the destruction of the town, and instead of killing innocent people, to kill him instead.

In that act of self sacrifice, Thor makes himself "worthy" again, and comes back to life, regains his hammer and power, and of course, destroys the Destroyer. 

Thor returns to Asgard, after promising Jane, the scientist who has been helping him, to return one day for her.

Thor returns to Asgard to find that Loki has been mischief as usual. In an attempt to make himself look noble in his fathers eyes, he rigs the Frost giants to come in and murder the sick king. Just as the Frost giants are going to kill the old king, Loki appears and kills the king of the Frost giants, thus making himself the hero - self rigged glory.

Thor appears on the scene at this point, and calls Loki out on his actions in trying to destroy them with the Destroyer. Loki breaks the meeting up and runs off to destroy the world of the Frost giants, to further his own self-imposed glory in the eyes of his father.

The way the Asgardians travel from world to world is a beaming device called the Bifrost, but if used too long in one shot on one planet, will destroy the planet. Loki rigs the Bifrost to destroy the planet of the Frost giants.Thor appears and tries to save the planet, which precipitates a smash and bash battle with Loki, which ends in the second, and greatest act of self sacrifice in the movie. The Bifrost is the only method of transportation between the worlds, but Thor destroys it to save a world of people that had tried to do him harm.

The reason this is so powerful, is because he at the same time cut off his only chance of seeing Jane ever again. He put aside his own love to save those he hardly knew. It is one of the most powerful scenes in the whole movie.  

Loki falls into the dark of outer space, and Thor, now the humble son, tells his father he was right - he does have much to learn.

The movie ends with a scene that kicks the door wide open to the sequel coming out this fall.

Overall, the worldview of Thor is what blew me away. The subtitle to the movie is 'Courage is immortal'. I would change it to 'Humility is Immortal'. The whole message of humility, and being humble, even if you are powerful, was astoundingly well out, I thought. They contrasted the rule of Loki verses the rule of Thor well indeed. Loki tried to use his power for his own glory and profit, Thor used his power for the good and profits of others, at the ultimate expense of his own. I have to admit I was deeply touched and convicted by the lack of self interest Thor showed in the movie.

Also, another thing that struck me in the movie, is the high view and dignity shown to patriarchy. The father could have been shown a bumbling idiot, an overrated failure, trigger happy with his self conjured power. But he wasn't. He was shown as wise with his power, just with his decisions, quick to forgive and try to make peace, and never once was put in a light that disrespected him in honor or position. His wife, the queen, was even supportive and loyal to him, and didn't try to make excuses when Loki called out some of his deeds he didn't agree with. Don't see that often in movies do you?

The worldview is what sold me on this movie. I walk away from movies what the worldview was preaching, despite what the rest of the movie conveyed, or tried to convey. And I walked away from Thor feeling uplifted, encouraged, and humbled, at the same time.

The good:
The worldview is outstanding, the message of self sacrifice is flooring, the humor is great, the fight scenes are epic.
Oh, and despite the modern tight clothes of the people on earth, and the warrior maiden in Asgard, there is no real immodesty to mention. Just the average every day clothes are a hair tighter than they should be. Again, not perfect, but loads farther than other movies, and loads father than they could have made it. Two thumbs up to the wardrobe director on that one.

One friend of mine was amazed at how clean this movie was, considering how recently it was made. Hollywood just doesn't do that often enough to really be believed when they do really put one out. But hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Another thing that I liked was how accurately they depicted the role of the government. Most Super movies have the government as the one behind the good guy, while in this one it is not. It is shown to be an annoying thing that thinks it is in control of everything, and is sure that it is they and their high tech equipment and professionals alone who are keeping the world safe, when in reality, they all look like fools for thinking they are so important. They are nothing but in the way, because the problems they were facing were far beyond the scope of anything they could handle, in fact, were entirely out of their class.
Which is exactly the case of the modern government. It was interesting to see how accurately they portrayed the government for what it really was, and not the hero.

The bad:
Of course, there always is bad. I think I caught two bad words in the entire movie. Two. That's flooring for a movie made in 2011, let alone an action super-hero movie. Far better than Captain America and Avengers.

There is a romance that weaves it's way through the whole movie, which although not blatantly annoying, ends in a kissing scene near the end of the movie. Only one, but its there.

There is also Sif, the warrior maiden of Asgard. Tough, feministic, with a "I can beat you hollow" attitude ascribed across her face, she is a bit annoying. Fortunately, she is a minor character, and doesn't tarnish the screen enough to diminish from the effect of the movie.

Another thing, is that although the message of the movie was flooring, it wasn't the most intriguing movie as far as super-hero exploits are concerned. Avengers, Captain America and the like seemed to focus on the story of blasting the bad guy and saving the world, while the whole story of Thor was merely to support the message of Thor. Not as much of an action puncher, but it has more moral kick than most. If you are an action junkie, this movie might disappoint you.

Overall, I give Thor a 4 out of 5. The 1 out is because of Sif, the kissing, the lack of smash-battles common in most super-movies, and the two words I caught.

Well worth it, to most ages.

Here's to round two.....