Saturday, February 24, 2007

Two Movies

Well, well, well. I haven't checked in for awhile. Thanks for asking. I have not really had much to say. Lots of intense family stuff.

My oldest daughter asked me to watch a documentary called Jesus Camp. I had to admit that I was grieved right away when I started the movie. I come from a charismatic background. I still believe that gifts are for today, but I am so much more conservative than I used to be and cringe at the abuse perpetrated in charismatic circles. I think becoming a reformed Christian has contributed to my desire that all things be in order and pleasing to God. I was grieved to see kids in a Jesus Camp being revved up emotionally and in a manipulative manner to respond to "preaching" by a woman who didn't even bother to open her Bible to expound on scriptures. I can't fault the desire of the kids to be pleasing to God, but I felt sad about their rote answers and performance expectations. I also gagged knowing that they were passing out Chick Tracks! Ugh. My oldest daughter once attended a teen camp where she became ill after accidentally eating mayonnaise. She has always been allergic to mayonnaise. She was told by a counselor (after throwing up a few times) that she had a "Spirit of Anorexia" and they needed to cast it out. What nonsense! She has never forgotten that particular episode, and in fact has been hindered by what she perceived as a twisted version of Christianity. Dang. I wish I could have come around to a Reformed view so much earlier in life so that she could have experienced a healthier viewpoint in my opinion. But...hey. God is sovereign and knows exactly what she needs.

I just got back from watching Amazing Grace. I had a much different reaction to this movie! I was blessed by some comments in the movie and very moved by the ending where a Color Guard played Amazing Grace with bagpipes and other instruments. I guess what impressed me was the dignity portrayed in the movie as well as the dignified beautiful rendition of the song at the end. I love to see the glory of God manifested in such a way. I, like so many of us, am tired of being innundated by "celebrity trainwreck lifestyles" . We have so little dignity left in our society.

I think there was an unintentional, or perhaps intentional, nod to Jonathan Edwards in the movie. Edwards had written a brilliant essay on spiders and spiderwebs as a young boy, and to see Wilberforce marveling at the intricacy of a spider web made me think of Edwards.

There were flaws in the movie and I could have done without the girlfriend's lowcut dresses, but the audience applauded at the end and sat through the credits. It is rare to see a movie where the characters actually have the kind of character to emulate. I came away with a couple of thoughts.

First of all, I came away with an enhanced desire to know what God wants to do in my life at this point. The movie was inspiring in that Wilberforce had such a passsion for a cause. Every few years I take stock of what I am doing, and right now my husband and I are in a holding pattern. We drive an hour to church so have a hard time feeling like we are really part of the church and have something to offer. I have always had my hand in something. I have worked in homeless shelters, and with at-risk teens. I have taught in a Christian school. I have a hard time just doing nothing. But, that is where I am right now. :) My husband is also feeling aimless. He is a good teacher of the Word, and has a servant's heart, willing to help anybody. We don't really know what God is doing, but we both feel like couch potatoes waiting and praying to God for the next move.

Second thought. I stated already that I love a movie that portrays dignity. I am so tired of trendy, push the envelope movies. I hate the language that is spewing out of movies, and the focus on sex and particular popular agendas. I like a movie that inspires me to be better and desire better things in my life. I would have liked the Resolved Conference (focused on Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions) that took place recently. Tim Challies liveblogged it. Yay.

It is interesting that one of the reviews I liked for Amazing Grace comes from a (I think) chick site here. I found it by reading Richard Pearcey's blog which happens to have a variety of reviews of Amazing Grace.

Well that's all the news that is fit to print from my corner of the world. Adios y'all for now.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Phil Keaggy. My favorite Christian Musician