A Look at “Noah”

Today, the teaser trailer for the new film Noah came out.  The film stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson & Anthony Hopkins.  It is based on the Biblical story of Noah and the flood.  It is directed by Darren Aronofsky.

After having seen the trailer, I am curious to see the film.  It will be a good jumping off point for discussion with others about the differences between the film and Scripture.  It will be interested in to see how Aronofsky treated the text in his interpretation.  The only film that I have seen that he has directed is The Fountain.  That was an interesting film and prompted a lot of discussion during a “Film and Theology” night when I was in Seattle.

Here’s the trailer, the film is to be released next year:

Thursday Quote Day: John Burke

For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day”, here is a quote from the book “No Perfect People Allowed”.

“It doesn’t matter how hip the music, how funny the pastor, how postmodern the vibe, if a person comes and sits alone, feeling unconnected as an “outsider” week after week, she [or he] won’t come back….Nobody wants to feel alone.” (John Burke “No Perfect People Allowed”)

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 4

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

We all want someone to appreciate and understand what we are going through.  When we struggle with hard times, we want someone can relate to us.  In this passage in Hebrews, the writer is reminding us that Jesus understands.  When he lived on this Earth, he was tempted and tried.  He was mocked and ridiculed.  He was hurt by those he considered his friends.  He felt sorrow and grief.  He knows what we are going through.  Even better, because of the work He did on the cross to be the sacrifice to pay for our sins, we can come to him in confidence that we can receive grace and mercy.  We also can go to him with our needs, with our hurts and know that he will listen and he will care.  What do you need to take to Him today?  Do so and know that He loves you and knows what you’re going through.

Thursday Quote Day: Bono

For this week’s Thursday Quote Day, I thought I’d share a quote from Bono.  He’s the frontman for the band U2, one of my favorite bands.  Here’s the quote:

“Coolness might help in your negotiation with people through the world, maybe, but it is impossible to meet God with sunglasses on.  It is impossible to meet God without abandon, without exposing yourself, being raw.” (Bono)

Agent Coulson and Change

I’m a huge comic book/super hero fan.  I readily admit that.  I grew up reading comic books and have seen a lot of comic book movies in the theaters, especially the Marvel ones that have come out recently.  I have also gotten into the new TV show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that debuted this season.  For those that don’t know, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a unit that exists to explore and ascertain info about things that are unexplainable, handle bad guys & keep such things classified.  On this show, there is a team of agents led by Agent Phil Coulson.  Coulson is a character that appeared in some of the Marvel movies.  Initially, the character was just a bit player.  However, fans grew to love the character and got featured more and more.  In The Avengers movie that came out last year, Coulson died at the hands of Loki (Thor’s half brother).

There was a huge uproar and people wanted the character brought back to life (which happens in comic books regularly).  So he was and is made the leader of this new team of agents.  Of course, the story of how he’s back from death and such is still playing out (and probably will throughout the season).  In tonight’s episode, there was a poignant moment.  Agent Coulson was talking with Agent May (one of the agents a part of this team and someone who has known Coulson for a while).  Coulson mentioned to May how he doesn’t feel the same and says to her that he feels like he’s changed.  She tells him that he has changed and that you can’t go through what he went through without changing.  She reassures him that it is okay that he has changed.

We all go through things in our life that change us.  We don’t necessarily have happen what happened to Agent Coulson but we have experiences that change us.  We change as people.  I am not the same person today that I was six months ago or a year ago.  There are parts of me that are constant but there are things that have changed.  Hopefully, those things are for the better.  I hope that I’m more compassionate, more loving, more caring.  I hope that I’m becoming more like Jesus.  But I know it is a process.  It is not an overnight thing.  And like Agent Coulson has a scar from his encounter with Loki, I have scars from encounters I’ve had on my journey as I’m sure that you have scars from those things that you have faced.

Change is not always a bad thing.  It can be a good thing.  It is not an easy thing to be sure and a lot of times it does hurt.  But there is good that can come out of it.

Sunday Devotional: 2 Timothy 2

For this week’s Sunday Devotional, looking at the 2 Timothy chapter 2.  This letter is another of the letters that the apostle Paul sent to Timothy, his friend and the young man he discipled in the faith.  This letter is one of the last that Paul wrote before his death.  He wanted to make sure in this letter to encourage and exhort Timothy, who was the pastor at the church in Ephesus.

Looking at the second chapter, the first part is definitely an encouragement part that Paul is writing to Timothy.  He writes in verses 1-2 “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful menwho will be able to teach others also.”

It is important to have mentors in your life.  Those who are older and have life experiences.  Those who have been following Jesus for a long time.  It is important to have those people in your life to learn from and to gain knowledge and wisdom.  In turn, it is important to have people in your life that you can mentor.  God has given you experiences and knowledge so that you can pass that on to others.

Being a follower of Jesus is about being a disciple who seeks to make disciples.  Timothy was a disciple who learned under Paul.  He then taught others who then taught others.  That is what we are called to as followers of Jesus.

Chapel and Basketball

The NBA season kicked off this week and while there are plenty of stories on the court, this one struck me that happened off the court.  Last night the Golden State Warriors played the Los Angeles Clippers down in L.A..  It was a hard fought game that the Clippers ended up winning.  There was a lot of trash talking and apparently bad blood between the two teams that has developed.

One of the ways this played out was before the game.  Usually in sports prior to games, there are chapel services that take place.  Players from both teams are invited and can participate if they choose.  However, before the game last night, Warriors players weren’t allowed to be a part of the chapel service with the Clippers but instead were told to have a separate service earlier.

Now I get the fact that there is competition and sometimes you don’t like the other team.  You don’t like their style of play or the way they act on the court/field.  But I think in this instance the Clippers were off on this one.  Regardless of team affiliation, our relationship with Christ should bring people together.  Doesn’t matter if you’re a Warriors player or a Clippers player, you can (and should) be able to worship together.  Nothing on the court that takes place should cause that to be a hinderence.

I hope the next time they play that they can all come together and put differences aside and be able to meet and worship.  Basketball is just a game.  Worshiping Jesus is more important.