Archive for the ‘Don Miller’ Category

I get it, I think. Maybe I don’t get it. Am I talking about living the Life, or the movie Little Frau and I just watched? Yes.

Jazz doesn’t resolve. Or does it? Life doesn’t resolve, or does it? That is the point. That is the premise. Knowing that, and accepting it, creates confusion and discomfort, just like life.

I read the book many years ago that spawned the recent movie. “Essays on Christian Spirituality” was the subtitle, but these essays were nothing like I had ever experienced. The same could be said about the movie. It seemed random. It seemed pained. It seemed unresolved. Then, it all came together, and in a confessional booth, of all places. The last 10 minutes made it worthwhile, even if the first 90 minutes had also been OK.

Not everyone will get it. Maybe they will, truth be told, but not everyone will like it. Media reports already show that to be the case. “The Christian Movie Industry” is boycotting Blue Like Jazz. It makes them uncomfortable. It makes them angry. It offends them. It concerns them. I could say the same, maybe, but I could about life as well. I get it, I think.

I have been to Portland, Oregon, many times in fact. I’ve seen the people. I’ve overheard “lectures” in the hallowed halls of Powells Books, and have even run from such for cover, eldest daughters ears in tow. I’ve never set foot on the Reed campus, but I have seen enough to know the realm.

I have been to “church”, deep south/Bible Belt style, many times in fact. I’ve seen the people. I’ve overheard “lectures” in the hallowed halls and in some people’s books, and have even run from such for cover, saddened ears in tow. I’ve never set foot on the every church group campus, but I have seen enough to know the realm.

I have seen “Fireproof”. I have seen “Flywheel”, and “Courageous”, and other “Christian Industry” movies. Having grown up in the culture that often hides from the reality of sin and takes things for granted, I get the point, and I see the value. Cheesy though they may be, for those who understand the culture of “big church”, these movies can strike a chord and call one to live more intentionally.

The same can now be said of Blue Like Jazz. Is it offensive? It could be, but the same could be said of “Dirty Harry”, and “Midway”, and “Star Wars”, or “You’ve Got Mail”, and any number of other movies I watch and love. Does that negate the point, and eliminate the value?

A non Christian, or at least a non lifetime Bible Belter can watch “Courageous” and walk away shaking their head. A lifetime conservative Texan raised Christian (aka, “I don’t smoke, I don’t chew, and I don’t go with girls who do) might watch BLJ and walk away confused, but the last scene rides in to save the day. It resolves. It clicks. And, it all starts with an epiphany, a realization, a confession, and an apology.

Why does life happen like it does? Why do good people die? Why did 9-11 happen? Why am I here? The questions could go on and on. I sat thru a program earlier this week with the American Airlines pilot who was “bumped” from his flight assignment that would have seen him slain at the hands of Mohammed Atta and had him on the first plane to hit the World Trade Center. And yet, he lives. I shook his hand. I am reading his book. And, I am learning a little about the guilt of being a “some time saint” and the duties of living as a “Borrowed Time Believer”. More on those thoughts in a later post.

Jazz doesn’t resolve, or does it? How about life? I think maybe it does, if we can just open our ears, and open our eyes. It all starts with a confession.

I get it, I think…


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March 15, 2010 to March 15, 2011: spring break to spring break – it’s been a good year. In many ways, it’s been a difficult year. And it’s been a growth year.

Here’s a twist on a proverbial question of old: If a tree falls in the woods, and I don’t post a link about it on Facebook, will anyone still read my blog? Hmmm.

About this time last year, I needed to change some things in life. I was letting stress and events drag me down. Admittedly, I was depressed, and it was not a healthy thing, for me, or for those around me. With advice from friends and Frau(who, I might add, is also a friend), I began to exercise regularly, and I began blogging. It felt good; it still does.

But there’s something about myself that I must admit: I don’t do well with moderation. No mater the subject, shopping for clothes on clearance sales, buying golf clubs on eBay (thankfully, I kicked that brief habit years ago, for I don’t really play golf), to eating the kids candy at Halloween, I am not good at practicing moderation. It’s a good thing that I don’t drink.

The same goes for blogging. In the past year, I have blogged over a hundred times. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but I am beginning to feel a little like Tim Hawkins as he describes a funny experience in this video:

You see, when I write a blog entry, I usually (almost always) put a link to it on Facebook, and it has drawn in over 2,340 reads so far.

“Go forth; preach the word; tell them about my…problems”. Maybe it’s all a little skewed for context, here. I don’t know. Just thinking out loud, again.

I wrote a lengthy entry about all of this, how my mind was racing, and the question of narcicism in an entry about a vacation drive thru Wolf Creek Pass last July. I had just read the Don Miller book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and I wanted to tell a better story, as well as live one. I still do. But, maybe, just maybe, I don’t want to keep being quite so vocal about it? Facebook link, vocal, that is. Just wondering.

I posted some song lyrics, as I often do, a few weeks ago from a Broadway musical tune from Wicked: Changed for Good. Here is an excerpt again:

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…

I’d like to agree with those lyrical sentiments. But I also want to be careful to avoid becoming “noise in the machine” of life, or ever move toward talking, just to hear myself thinking…

Paul had something to say about gongs and clanging cymbals in 1 Corinthians 13:

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

I want to avoid such, at all costs, and be one who truly loves others.

So if, while digging away at the root of the problem, something I think and write is helpful to another, great, but the broadcast will likely be toned down, even if the frequency happens to go up.

With apologies (or not) to my current subscriber base of of Frau, Fabio, Mom, etal, “let the bad analogies continue”.

After all, it has been a Good Year, but instead of sharing it from an altitude of 30,000 feet, I might just be content to circle above the stadium full of closer friends, instead.

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