Category Archives: Life

6 Reasons Why I Liked the Movie FROZEN

Yes, the movie has been out awhile.  But, I saw it with the family for the first time yesterday.

I don’t typically do movie reviews.  But, I have to write this one.

Let me first start with what Frozen is missing: God.  There is no mention of him and he IS the source of all that is good, right, and lovely.

Barring that, the movie was amazing.  Here are my reasons why:

1. I loved the graphics.  Sure, it may not be as “amazing” as some other animated films out there, but there were definitely some beautiful scenes.

2. I loved the message.  It was all about the power of love to heal a frozen heart.  And that is true!  It was about how the enemy of our lives (and of love) is fear.  I think I remember a Bible verse about that…you can read it here.

3. I loved HOW they used magic.  I’ve got small kids, so I’m concerned when magic gets too weird and too dark.  It has been that way in other Disney movies.  It was NOT like that in this movie.  For that I am thankful.  In fact, the magic could be taken as a “physical” expression of the emotional reality of the queen.  So, the magic was not the focus…it actually pushed the viewer to focus on what the message of the movie was really about: love.

4. Who doesn’t love happy trolls?

5.  I was pleasantly surprised (spoiler alert) that the love that was required to heal a frozen heart was not the romantic love (the kiss of the prince/man/etc.) that is found in many other Disney movies, but the sacrificial love of one person giving their life for another.  Unexpected and very good.

6. I liked that the storyline did not follow the typical trajectory of an evil person vs a good person.  While there were “bad” people in the movie, the main battle was a battle of the heart.  In life, that is so important.  Our main battle is not other people, but the one that takes place in our hearts.

I’m sure there are others…but this is what I’ve thought of up until now!

If you haven’t watched it yet…see it!

Enjoy.

Calling: Receiving and Completing

There is a time difference between receiving a call and completing a call.

If someone invites me today to a Dodger’s baseball game for the 2014 season, I am well aware  that the time difference between receiving that invitation to completing that invitation will be a few months.

In our microwave culture, we tend to believe that everything is NOW.  Waiting is no longer a part of our culture.  Patience, one of the fruit of the Spirit found in the book of Galatians, is no longer much of a virtue.

I have met many people who have received a “call” from God upon their lives.  God has told them they are called to do something specific…maybe be a pastor, or a missionary, or something else of the sort.

Then, in a tragic moment, they decide that everything must change instantly.  They believe the call is for right now.  They pack everything up, throw caution to the wind, leave people hanging, and run off, proclaiming that they are somehow being obedient to God.

Now, while there are moments when God calls us to do something immediately, I believe there are many more moments when the time period between receiving the call and completing the call is quite large.

Take the life of King David, found in 1st and 2nd Samuel, as an example.  The difference in time between being called (anointed) as a king and actually becoming king was many years.  During that time, God continued to mold his character, give him influence, teach him many things, and bring the right people into his life.

My advice?  Slow down.  Wait on God.  Submit to authority in your life.  Then GO, when the time is right.

Empty Glasses

In my regular Bible reading, I came across a great comparison in a story about King Josiah and the people of Israel.

King Josiah reigned after a period of time when Israel had fallen away from relationship with God.  He eventually found the “Book of the Covenant”, which was the agreement that God had made with the people of Israel about how they were to live.

When King Josiah read it, he renewed the agreement, then he went all out in making sure that everything that had to do with false religion was destroyed.  He even put people to death over it!

This is all found in 2 Kings 23:1-20.

But, he realized that “emptying the glass” was not enough.  It was not simply enough to get rid of false religion, to get rid of sin, or to get rid of the people responsible for all the evil that was committed.

When glasses are left empty, they are simply waiting to be filled up with something.  And Josiah knew that if the people of Israel were not filled up with something new and better, they would revert back to how they were.

So, in verses 21-22 of the same chapter, we read this: “21 King Josiah then issued this order to all the people: “You must celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as required in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 There had not been a Passover celebration like that since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, nor throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah.”

Interesting.

Could it be that since no celebrations were happening regularly, the people of Israel lost their way and started honoring the wrong things?

Josiah made sure to “fill the glass” with the honor of God and the remembrance of all that he had done for them.

I believe the main reason negativity, sin, anger, etc. exist in our lives is because we have not filled the cup with thanksgiving, honor, love, celebration, etc.

Would you consider celebrating more today?  If so, I believe it will make all the difference in your life!

Let’s party!

 

Peace

The last two weeks at CityLife (the church I pastor), we have started off the year talking about God’s peace.  There is so much that could be said about his peace, but I will simply share a few thoughts:

1. External peace does not guarantee internal peace.  Much of what we spend our time looking for is peace in our external circumstances.  We hope that everything at work will get better, we hope that our finances will improve, we hope that our relationships will be stable, and much more.  But reality is this: peace in any of those (or other) external circumstances does not guarantee internal peace.  I recently refinanced my house.  I’m happy about saving money.  It’s better for my finances!  But, I don’t wake up every morning celebrating it.  We still need interior peace.

2. The peace that Jesus offers is better in quantity and quality than anything else. The truth is that there are different places and things that will offer elements of peace.  And, there will always be a certain amount of peace that can be changed from things going well in our lives.  But, if you want lots of peace, and have it be lasting peace, you need someone inherently good and eternal to give it to you.  Only Jesus fits in that category.

3. We must push through our own issues to experience the peace of Jesus. I am NOT saying that we need to solve our issues in order to experience the peace of Jesus.  On the contrary!  Only Jesus can solve all of our issues.  But, we must not allow our issues (whether they be addictions, shame, worries, fears, lack of faith, etc.) to be the determining factors in our look for peace.  We must be willing to release them so we can grab ahold of the peace that Jesus has for us.  We can’t grasp the peace of Jesus if we are still holding other things clutched tightly in our hands.

Look for Jesus today and you will experience a true and lasting peace.  It will be completely different from anything you have experienced before.

Enjoy the journey!