Tag Archives: church

Films 127-135


Dazed and Confused. My kid looks for someone good in this movie. Me: What about him? 5 minutes later every kid in film smokes a lot of weed.

Big Men. Seems there should be balance between good for the people of Ghana and profits for stockholders. And corrupt officials. And thugs.

City of God. Beautifully shot, fast-paced epic melodrama in the slums of Rio. Didn’t hook me cuz shallow characters and annoying narration.

The Overnighters. The church trying to be the church. The “twist” was unnecessary. Didn’t fit the story being told, then wasn’t dealt with.

Django Unchained. Tarantino saying a lot of things about a lot of things. I mostly liked the relationships. Not so much the exploding blood.

Ida. *Every*single*frame* of this film is so beautiful it’s almost distracting. Loved this simple and fresh exploration of what’s important.

Ender’s Game. Fun sci-fi. Just touches on the book’s themes. Too bad it didn’t do well enough for more. Would love to see piggies on screen.

The Hunt. Unsettling. The guy didn’t seem to try to help himself much. Trust the Danes to fire a hunting rifle into a mostly hopeful ending.

Amelie. Love this quirky little Vonnegutesque film. The French have a way of building the tension to that first kiss. Always worth the wait.

Plainview #33

A long episode this week where we talk a bit about movies, some we’ve seen, and some we haven’t–still haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain. Mare sort of declares victory regarding the death penalty challenge, and yet it sort of continues. Blasts from the past include our Windows 98, looking for a god podcast, and DARE and indoctrination. And there’s a song.

Plainview #21

In episode 21 of The Plainview, we reviewed Kung Fu Hustle, discussed the government as Christ figure, wondered about our mean children, and talked a lot about questioning god.  For what it’s worth, we still quiz our kids in the Benedictine style just about every night.

Hmmm, I wonder whatever happened to those coffee mugs?

Swimming in Seaweed

Another missive from my summer in Arizona.  As I type these, I am correcting spelling to make them easier to read (I’m a terrible speller).  I am not editing out things I say that make be sound like a 19-year-old from the 80’s–things like jokes about smacking babies or random comments about someone’s race.  If someone wants to go back in time 30 years and shake your finger at my young self, feel free.  Just be sure to look yourself up as well. Oh, and I don’t remember what I sent to mom.  I bet she doesn’t either.


June 16


Not much to tell.  Mostly just sending my check home, along with some other stuff.  The other stuff is basically for Mom.  It’s about 6:30.  Rough day today. About 10:30 this morning D had to go to Tuscon to get some wallpaper and some money.  While we (I went with him) were there we hit a show–Raw Deal with Arnold (pinhead) Schwarzenegger. It wasn’t bad.  M got his shots today–some baby shots, I don’t know–so he’s pretty fussy.  I gave him a rap in the mouth to shut him up.  It didn’t work and I got blood all over my hands.  –Of course I’m just kidding.  He didn’t bleed.  Thanks for the letter.  I’m think I’m going to write some this evening.  Last night (Sunday), we all went to a lake with some people from the church.  Did some swimming in some seaweed–not much though, that wears you out quick.  Went to church Sunday too.  We were about 5 min. late so we came in when the singing was going on.  (They just sing for about 30-45 min before the rest of the service–ie. offertory, announcements, sermon, etc.)  It reminded me of the Blues Brothers church. The minister is a black guy. Neat what-you-would-expect-black-baptist-type preaching.

Irrelevant point of interest==> Mom, I read where your Phil Collins record is a platinum 4-million seller, and your Whitney Houston record is a platinum 5-million seller.  You joiner!

Mike, see if you can get to work so that you can fly out here at the end of the summer.  Ma, you aught to come too.  Pa’s already been here, but he could come if he wanted.  Please forward any mail that comes to the house to me.  Tell Sadie [the dog] hi and get well soon. Tell everybody else that cares hi too.  Write when you want.  I love you all.



P.S. Be sure and put some of this money in my checking account.  I mailed all this in a big envelope so I wouldn’t have to fold Mom’s thing into little squares.

Ask Me About Joni Tickets

ask me about joni

Joni is of course Joni Eareckson Tada. She was a person who became paralyzed. Because of her faith she believed that she would be healed. She wasn’t. This caused some time of self reflection, but she eventually worked her way through it. She became famous for her story and her paintings. She painted by holding the brushes in her mouth. The tickets (referenced on the button) are for the movie that was made about her life. She starred in it. As I recall, churches would contact movie theaters and get them to book these Christian movies and then church members would help with the ticket sales. The theaters made money selling tickets, and the churches helped people hear about Jesus. I just was a kid when all this was going down, so I may not have my facts quite right. I remember Time to Run being another one of these movies. This was before VHS/DVD; nowadays Christian movies like this–seems like there was a football movie and a firefighter movie–just go straight to video so churches can show them on their own big screens.

I’m not a fan of the division of art into categories of Christian and secular. Although I guess if the purpose of a piece of art is to get someone to make a religious decision, that puts it in a different category. I think the word for art, the purpose of which is to persuade, is propaganda. I know that word carries a bit of baggage, but some propaganda is considered pretty good art: Picasso, Norman Rockwell, Casablanca, Chaplin’s Little Dictator, Animal Farm, Dr. Strangelove, and Red Dawn (ok, maybe not great art, but Wolveriiiiiiines!).

Anyway, if you were asking, you can buy the Joni movie (6.6 on imdb) on Amazon. I can’t find Time to Run (7.6 imdb).

When I first published this on facebook it lead to a bit of a discussion.  Much of it is below.


  • Andy There is a great movie now touring the country that is both a great piece of art in and of itself (great acting, powerful story, great cinematography, etc..) but also a powerful Christian movie. It’s based on the life of Rich Mullins and called “Ragamuffin” and if you want to look at more info you can check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/richmullinsfilm

    Bryan They’re still doing the “partner with theaters” thing. This past year, our Celebrate Recovery group worked with the local Nevada theater to get them to show “Home Run”, which was a baseball movie with a similar religious point. It didn’t beat you over the head with it, but I don’t think anyone could leave thinking it wasn’t trying to persuade you towards Christianity. Overall not a great movie, but definitely better than anything starring Kirk Cameron.

    Carrie Saw her movie, read her book and had her album.
    Matt Carrie, one of the reviewers on imdb said that every teenage girl she knew back in the day had a copy of Joni’s book.

    Bryan, one of the youth groups we worked with years ago brought one of those Cameron movies to a lock in–so that they could make fun of it.
    Anyone seen Blue Like Jazz? I read it and liked it.
    Oh,and speaking of great art, I wish I had a Thief in the Night button.

    Andy Are you talking about the semi-recent ones by that church out of Georgia? I’ve seen three of them… Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous… they all have an element of cheesiness to them…I think it’s the so-so acting and so-so writing. Courageous came the closest to a good movie though.
    I’ve listened to the audiobook of it (Blue Like Jazz) … and I have a couple of other Donald Miller books that I want to read on my bookshelf. I liked some of it…

    Bryan Blue Like Jazz was a good book, but haven’t seen the movie. If you want true cheesiness, I suggest the Left Behind moves. Kirk Cameron takes terrible material to a whole new level of weirdness.
    Andy Oh yeah. Those are awful.

    Matt Thief in the night was from the 70s, end of the world, mark of the beast, guillotining believers, amazing. I saw it in the basement of the Methodist church back when. It may even have been the first of a trilogy.

    Marnie I had a copy of the book. I think all of the girls in our youth group read it and saw the movie. Really vivid memories of this being a huge turning point in my faith. That and some mission weekend we had. I remember the couple who led it. He was black and she was white. That was breaking barriers back then.




This little vbs pin is retro enough to be cool again, or cool for the first time, I think. Here in Adrian I’ve had the chance to work with the middle school vbs. They’ve done some very cool things: picked up trash at the park, prepared and served meals for some older folks, sorted toys at a place in Joplin after the tornado, made dog toys for a no-kill shelter, made and installed a peace poll, conducted canned food drives, written letters to soldiers and sick kids. It’s really been a cool deal (if I say so myself).

I remember helping with vbs back in my Methodist church days. It was me and one of my many Methodist girls (Jeanne, Marnie, Jacque, Sharon, Cheryl, Sam and Carrie–did I miss anyone?) ; I don’t remember which one. We were basically kid wranglers, getting them from one place to another with as little hassle and as few missing children as possible. There was a pair of twins that were a hoot, but that required much attention. Basically one of us got the twins to keep an eye on, the other got all the other kids. Really, as long as we kept the twins in line, the lead teacher didn’t care what we did. It was the classic format that we still use today: sing, craft, story, snack, play, sing again, big bouncy house at the end of the week. (Ok, no bouncy house at the end of the week. I think we just sent them home and took a nap.)

Dad: You should see the twins today. Great contributors to the community, nice guys. It blows my mind every time I see them. You all must have done a good job.

Sharon: Good days Matt! Thanks for sharing so many good memories. Do you remember the cross made out of burnt match sticks? That is one craft that always stands out to me. Take Care!

Me: Yeah I do. And now, after doing so many vbs’s, I’m thinking, someone had to light and extinguish like 100 matches per kid. Jeesh.

Plainview #4

I think this is Plainview #4, but that means I don’t know where #5 is.  I’ll try to get it all sorted out.

What’s interesting about this one, to me, is how time’s change.  Ten years later there’s little chance of Will getting up at 6:45 to go to garage sales with grandma, or anyone else for that matter.  And Maly has learned how to hold on to money big time; she is a very wise spender who researches for weeks before making a major purchase.  We talk about a lot of churchy things in this episode.  Sorry to anyone we offended.

Here’s the scary Inez.