Actors

So Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, the famed and celebrated Bonnie and Clyde themselves, capped off the Oscars ceremony by announcing the wrong winner in the Best Picture category — surely a greater theft than any perpetrated by their real-life bank-robbing counterparts.  And yet my biggest takeaway from the biggest television fiasco since Nipplegate at Super Bowl XXVIII is … I don’t care.

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Player

The legendary country music star Glen Campbell once toured and recorded with the Beach Boys.  (It’s possible some of our young folks don’t recognize the name of either of those acts.  Parents, do your job!)  Campbell, a legendary guitar picker, likes to say he played bass for the band, but he wasn’t a “bass player.”  I heard him liken the concept to ordinary people in the casinos.  They may be playing blackjack, but they aren’t black jack players. 

 

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Judgment

I preached a sermon Sunday in which I mentioned how discouraged I am over people’s obsession with sports, how completely irrational and destructive behavior is permitted and even bragged about because of “team loyalty.”  Just an hour or two later, in a (probably) unrelated incident, Mark Wahlberg walked out on his beloved Patriots at the Super Bowl (they were behind 28-12 at the time) and began receiving an unceasing stream of vitriol from other fans.   

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Unfriend

It used to be that the ultimate enticement was, “I’ll be your friend.”  Granted, a 6-year-old mind has a limited grasp on the “friend” concept.  But it was a good thing; I got that much.  And when the cool kid offered friendship in exchange for putting him on the same dodgeball team as the other cool kid, well, you have to seriously consider an offer like that.

Today, thanks to social media, there is the "unfriend."

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Movies

I have been preaching some sermons lately about the lessons we can take from the movies — combating real-world monsters, the difference between “sci” and “fi,” that sort of thing.  It’s basically a naked attempt to grab the attention of young people with a spiritual message that, in the absence of sparkly vampires and talking turtles, they might ignore.  Future sermons are likely to include lessons on the vigilante mentality (action movies), the false allure of “love at first sight” (romances), and the willingness to take a stand for principle (westerns).  Y’all come.

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Elk

Have you seen the one in which a man is being attacked by a bull elk?  The man is trying desperately to keep a tree between himself and the massive beast.  Every once in a while the elk would bellow angrily.  (Who knew a big deer, essentially, could sound so mean?)  The man, wisely, did not choose to run in those moments; no doubt the elk would have run him down easily.

 

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The Parable of the Rock Climber

She’s barely holding on.  She is losing feeling in her fingertips.  She became convinced a while back that starting this climb was a mistake in the first place, but by then she had no choice; it was continue upward or fall to certain death.  So she continued upward, on a journey she had already decided she could not finish. 

And then she stopped to take a rest.  It was never a long-term plan.  She just wanted to do anything but climb.  ...

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Year

The deaths of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds this week seemed to set off yet another wave of complaints — not that we would be robbed of their respective talents (the word being used generously in the case of Mr. Michael), bur rather that 2016 was going to go down in history that much faster as the worst year in the history of … whatever.

How realistic is that? ...

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Parenting

When giving parenting advice, I have gotten reactions that fall almost completely into one of two categories.  One, the listeners will wholeheartedly agree with me; this indicates that my advice mimics what they are already doing or what they are determined to do when the situation calls for it.  Two, the listeners will ignore me; this means they disagree with me and have no intention of changing — and that they likely see me and my ilk as the cause of the downfall of society.  That’s fair, I guess, since it’s what I think of them.

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Separated

My second-favorite television couple is splitting up, it seems.  Tarek and Christina El Moussa, of Flip or Flop fame, have been separated for eight months now.  They have no plans to divorce yet, but they are in separate houses and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

 

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Paradise

It is said that Johnny Cash, having been asked what his idea of paradise was said, “This morning, with [June], having coffee.”  You may say that is true love epitomized.  I call it a kinder, gentler version of the life view that almost destroyed Johnny Cash with drugs and alcohol.  “Paradise” in the mind of many, including Mr. Cash evidently, is nothing more than earthly joy writ large.

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Riots

People are odd.  There are places in this country where, when something horrible (as they define “horrible”) happens, riots break out.  In those same places, when something wonderful (as they define “wonderful”) happens, riots break out.  I’m starting to wonder if maybe there are people in this world who just like to set fires, break stuff and steal things.

 

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Thanks

This year I am giving thanks for some different sorts of things.  After all, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads, “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  If the Holy Spirit had meant to tell Paul to write, “in every good thing,” I’m sure that’s what Paul would have written.  So here goes.

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Election Day ruminations

 

So what have we learned this week?  Take whatever self-serving message you wish out of the election with regard to sexist voters, private servers, fainting spells, FBI investigations, Islamophobia, and universal health care.  We can all agree on one thing — and in retrospect, we should have seen it coming: a terrible candidate with a strong campaign beats a terrible candidate with a terrible campaign.

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Election

I really need this election to come and go.  Despite my admonitions to everyone and his brother these days about keeping things in perspective, trusting in God through all situations, seeing ourselves as citizens of heaven and not of a disturbingly flawed America, still I find myself gawking at the latest earth-shattering rumor about the candidates and/or those near them.

Maybe I should try this again, if only for my sake.

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