Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Good movies & the fact I'm apparently now "old"

This is part of a texting conversation I had yesterday with one of my former youth group students. He is now in his 20's. The gray boxes are him, the green me:

After I wrote to him, "define old" - my mind starting thinking about good OLD movies: Casablanca, Arsenic & Old Lace, and anything by Hitchcock were the things coming to mind. Because OLD movies are the black & white classics.

Then his "80's or later" answer came.  WHAT?!?!?!  When did 80's movies become "old" movies?  If he was standing in front of me I probably would have kicked him.

Here were my "off the top of my head" answers that I gave, and also the rationale I was thinking of as I sent them:
  • The Godfather - because though not an 80's movie, it is a true classic
  • Anything by John Hughes - because when I tried to think of a good 80's movie everything that immediately came to mind was by him.  He is the epitome of "80's movies"
  • Ghostbusters - because it is one of my favorite comedies of all time
  • Dances With Wolves - because it is one of my favorite epic dramas of all time
  • Dark City - because I tried to think up something really uncommon that I loved, and Dark City is a great metaphysical sci-fi movie.
  • The Truman Show - because it is one of the best satires I know of
Writing this hours after the conversation that aged me, another "old" movie that I would add is "One Crazy Summer."  It has John Cusack, Demi Moore, and Bobcat Goldthwait in it, and is a stupid comedy from the 80's that my sister and I would watch over and over again.  Incredibly funny.

So...what "old" movies immediately come to your mind?  What would you have recommended?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why Super 8 is an amazing movie

On Saturday, some friends and I went to see J.J. Abrams' newest movie: Super 8. It is easily one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.  That being said, it's one of those movies that you can't say what it's about without giving away the plot.  So in trying to avoid spoilers, I'll say that Super 8, in its most basic sense, is similar to the movie "The Sandlot." But a sci-fi version.

In writing and directing Super 8, Abrams included everything that makes for a great movie: great dialogue & plot development, humor, big (but not over the top) special effects, emotion, and characters you want to root for.  At its core though, Super 8 is just a superb story. J.J. Abrams has a knack for doing this, and to me, he is one of the best storytellers in Hollywood. 

It's because he is a master at using mystery. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

TSA is an equal opportunity offender

A couple weeks ago I blogged about how, when going through airport security, I saw a little 4 year old princess get singled out for a TSA search.  To me it is still a shame.

Right now I'm sitting in Midway airport, waiting to catch a flight to South Carolina for work.  At my gate the news is reporting this:

So apparently a TSA officer's common sense doesn't increase the older the individuals are they are screening.  I'm sure there could have been something gross in that diaper, but not weapons of mass destruction.

Because I fly often I have to deal with TSA on a regular basis.  Many are kind, even funny at times.  Then there are those who check their brains at the door and treat people like this woman being reported on was treated.  It's completely uncalled for and wrong.

Hopefully this woman's unfortunate experience will help promote a screening of TSA procedures.  There does need to be changes made.  There doesn't need to be made changes that will decrease security, but they should add some that will increase the rational thinking power in their officers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rock Solid Living

Very excited that we're doing a series on the 10 Commandments this summer at New Life.  I've been wanting to do this for a couple years, so pumped it's happening. 

The 10 Commandments is one of the most important parts of the Bible, and also probably one of the most misunderstood.  This is the paragraph we're using to promote the series:  

iPads, Kindles, and Nooks bring us all the words known to man: novels, histories, poetry, biographies, and so much more.  But the original tablets carried by the prophet Moses brought to us some of the most important words ever written. This summer we'll explore the 10 Commandments. Together we'll discover how real-to-life these ancient words are for today, how they provide a solid foundation for daily life. 

As the church moves through each commandment this summer, I'm going to blog through them week to week (At New Life Lincoln Park I'm going to be speaking the Sundays we cover commandments #1-4).  

The series kicks off this Sunday, so come check it out!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I hate to say I told you so, but...

You find yourself in a situation where you gave someone advice on how they should proceed in an area of life.  They didn't take your advice.  But they should have, because they turned the other way and got lost.

You find yourself in a situation where someone is misspeaking against you, misrepresenting you. You try to state your case, you try to show truth.  But the person is convincing his hearers.  They take him at his word.  But they shouldn't have, because now the truth is out and the misrepresentation is evident.

You find yourself in a situation where you warned someone of the danger ahead. You saw a real potential of destruction on the horizon, so you set up yellow cautionary tape.  They didn't take your warning. But they should have, because they crossed the tape and are now dealing with the explosion's shrapnel.

You were right.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Best Father's Day Gift Ever

A few days ago Jeannette asked what I wanted to do for Father's Day.  There wasn't a specific activity, but there were specific parameters:
  • I don't want to do any work.
  • I don't want to drive anywhere far 
  • I don't want to have to deal with Chicago traffic.
So we went to church, went to lunch, came home, and I got to take a 2 hour nap.  Best. Day. Ever.
This morning before church Baylee realized it was Father's Day and insisted I open my gift right then. She was not going to wait till after church.  So the gift bag came out of the closet and inside I found...

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Daddy, can I listen to Justin Bieber?"

We're driving around last night and from the back seat Baylee begins the conversation:

Baylee - "Daddy, when I'm five can I listen to Justin Bieber?"
Me - "No Baylee, not till you're 13.  And then it will be a maybe."
Baylee - "Whhoooaaa!"

Yes, I am a cruel father.

During youth group days I was asked numerous times by people if I thought their kid was old enough for Harry Potter.  The parents hadn't read them yet, knew I had, so they wanted some insight. I'm still asked that question from time to time, but also now is added to it inquirires on Hannah Montana, Justin Bieber, & the like.

First off, let the following be established and understood: I have read the Harry Potter books.  I have NEVER watched an episode of Hannah Montana.  I am INCAPABLE of identifying a Justin Bieber song. Just want to clarify all that so I don't lose any street cred.

Moving on...

Monday, June 13, 2011

That's just ugly!

The Aspire Pastor's Conference is going on right now in Phoenix AZ, and I'm here with some guys from the Logos team.  Last night we heard Bob Pitman speak on everything the pastor does being about Jesus; pastors aren't to ever proclaim themselves, we are proclaiming Jesus.  Sometimes the most basic truths are the ones we need reminded of, and they also make for the most powerful sermons.

Toward the end he was talking about genuine and fake humility when he said this:

Some of the ladies in our churches have their blouse sleeves down to their wrist, their skirts down to their ankles.  They have large bee-hive hairdos that tower over the congregation.  I asked one such lady why she does that, to which she said, "I'm just trying to have humility."  Come on lady - that's not humility, that's just ugly!"

6000 people in attendance, and you could probably hear me laugh above them all.  Even this morning I'm laughing as I type out the recounting.

Then he said this: "Humility is not an outward expression, it is an inward reality."  

Now that's powerful.

Always good to get a humility check.  Always good when it comes along with a pretty hilarious story.

"I won a button for being humble once, but they took it away from me because I wore it." - Mike Warnke 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The 4yr old terrorist

While going through airport security tonight, in front of me a cute little 4 year old girl traveling with her grandparents was randomly selected to get a pat down search.

Go back and read that sentence again.

If we were at a Chuck E Cheese, Baylee would have run up to this little girl and asked if she wanted to play in the tubes with her.  I doubt Baylee would have been afraid the girl was packing.

The little girl had to wait by herself in the glass area for a TSA officier to come and perform the "additional screening." Her grandparents weren't allowed in with her, they had to stand outside, separated by the glass.

Having been right behind them, I was gathering my stuff when the TSA officer came and asked her to step out for the enclosed area.  As she exited he said, "How are you?"

Misunderstanding him, she lifted up four fingers.

"Oh...you're four."  And apparently still a potential travel risk.  Maybe it was because she had blonde hair and blue eyes.  Always good to address potential Aryans before they grow up.

I don't think the TSA officier performing her pat down thought it was really funny that as I walked by I said, "Thanks for protecting us from the dangerous ones."

I'm sure someone can give an apparently logical defense as to why this is legitimate and necessary, but as a father of an incredibly awesome little four year old, it still bothers me.  I will be honest though, I'm not sure what the alternative would be.  So I'll end with the acceptance that it is a necessary evil.  Along with that though, I will indeed also claim the satisfaction that comes with knowing that when the bell went off to randomly pick the girl, that I said out loud, "Gonna bet she's clear."

And I was right.

Score one for common sense.

Monday, June 06, 2011

To my sister Crystal

When we were younger we would mess with each other like any siblings would.  My favorite go-to means of torture was just to pin her down and start tickling.  However, I wouldn't stop tickling until she said the magic words.  Not, "Please stop!" That's boring.  Her yelling, "I'm going to pee!" Golden.  No pun intended.  A few years ago we were at my mom's house and just for old times I pinned her down and started tickling.  She acted like she was getting mad, but I knew she was loving the reminiscing.  My mom finally said, "Crystal, just say it so he'll stop."  So Crystal yelled it out, "I'm going to pee!" and I stopped.  Yeah, I'm a great brother.

Today is my sister Crystal's birthday.  She is "younger than me" years old.  I love her very much.

During one of our rare [sarcasm added] moments of fighting while we were growing up I told Crystal that mom didn't really birth her, that we found her in the cabbage patch amongst the other dolls.  Not one of my most empowering moments.  She didn't come from the cabbage patch, though based on the number of them that she had growing you would have thought she did.  No, she is indeed a gift our family received from God.

On June 6, 19** I got sister, Jeannette got a sister-in-law, and Baylee & Jaxon got an aunt.  And I am so proud to be to say that.

I love you Crystal with all my heart.  I hope you have an AMAZING birthday!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Deeper Teaching/Preaching?

OK - returning to the world of blogging after an insanely crazy end of the semester.  Be forewarned.

I read a good blog post from Pete Wilson where he was asking people what they mean when they say/hear "I want deeper teaching/preaching."

I'm curious myself what people mean by that.

What to you constitutes "deeper teaching"?
What causes you to feel that you need to say, "I want something deeper?"

I'm really interested in this, so lay it on me in the comments box.