Happy 2 Year Anniversary

2

I forgot that last Friday was the 2 year anniversary for the blog.  I am thankful that this blog is carrying along like it has in the vein of the “Little Engine That Could”.  I don’t know if many people read this blog or not but the main thing is that it his helpful in sharing my thoughts and my journey.  Hopefully this blog has been a blessing to those that have read it.  I do not take for granted to opportunity this blog affords me.

What does the next year hold in store?  Probably more of the same with hopefully more inspired posts than I have written before.  Thanks again for joining me on this journey and may there be many more stories to share in the journey.

Advertisements

Miyazaki’s Kingdom: Looking at “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”

Not too along ago I watched 2013 documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.

the_kingdom_of_dreams_and_madness

The documentary is focused on Studio Ghibli, the animation film studio that Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.  The film specifically looks at the year leading up to the release of two films.  Those two films were Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya.  People get a look into the life of the studio as well as that of the two founders of the studio.  Miyazaki is featured prominently in the film because he’s more well known.  However, Takahata is shown as well, even though he is more of a recluse.

What makes this documentary special, along with getting a look behind the scenes of Studio Ghibli, is the fact that it was announced during this time that Miyazaki would be retiring following the release of The Wind Rises.  It gives the film a bittersweet feeling as you know that things will never be the same once the films were finished.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness was released in Japan on November 16, 2013 and in the United States the next year.  The documentary is in Japanese with English subtitles.  It is worth watching and seeing the behind the scenes of how an iconic studio made films.

Sunday Devotional: 2 John

“The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.  And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.  And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.  For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.  Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,  for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

The children of your elect sister greet you.”

The letter of 2 John is one of the shortest books in the New Testament.  However, there are a lot of important things in this brief letter.  The main thing is the importance and the interconnection between truth and love.  John made it a point throughout the letter that the wrote to a congregation that he knew and loved to emphasize this.  Truth and love are intertwined.  You cannot separate the two.  If there is love but no truth, then there is not real love there.  If there is truth but no love, then it is legalism and not the whole truth.

Jesus was all about truth and love.  He was the way, the truth and the life.  He demonstrated His love for us.  If we are to be followers of Jesus, we need to be about truth and love in our lives.  This week, let us show love and speak truth together to others and to ourselves.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 117

“Praise the Lord, all nations!
    Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!”  (Psalm 117)

This is a pretty short psalm.  It only has two verses.  Yet these two verses pack a lot of truth in them.  This psalm sings of God’s love for us and how it is steadfast and true.  It sings of God’s faithfulness which endures forever.  And it reminds us of how we are to respond: “Praise the Lord…Extol him…”

The psalmist calls for all the nations and all peoples to praise the Lord and rightfully so.  God is faithful and He loves us so much.  Our response should be to give Him the praise and honor He deserves.  This week, let us remember how great God’s love is to us and how His faithfulness endures.  Let that call us to join with others in praising God.

Sunday Devotional: John 21:15-23

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”  He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”  (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”  Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”  When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”  Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”  So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”  (John 21:15-23)

These verses are some of the more well known verses.  It is the story of Peter and Jesus talking after the resurrection and Jesus forgiving Peter and giving him a mission.  We all fail.  We all mess up.  But the great thing is Jesus forgives us when we repent.  And what’s even better is He still wants to use us for His kingdom.  He had a plan and purpose for Peter: “feed my lambs”, “tend my sheep”, “feed my sheep”.  He has a plan and purpose for your life too.  You just have to be open and ready to receive it.

The other big thing from this story is to focus on one’s own mission.  We sometimes get caught up in what other people are doing or how God is using them.  We have to be responsible for what God has called us to do and not worry about what others have in store.  Peter got caught up in worrying what would happen with John.  Jesus reminded him that it wasn’t Peter’s place to focus on John.  Peter was to focus on following Jesus.

This week, let us repent, let us accept forgiveness, let us be ready to follow Jesus and serve Him in whatever roles He has called us to do.