Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A few thoughts about Hollywood...

Ok, I'll admit it.  I'm a fan of celebrities.  Not all of them, mind you, but some.  I am interested in who they are and what they do.  Why, you ask?  I have no answer for you, but I think it started when I was a kid.

See, when I was a child, I got $1 a week for an allowance (it would actually end up 90 cents after I took out my tithe) and I loved to read.  But books cost more than $1 and I was never very good at saving for more than a few weeks at a time.  But the TV Guide was about 90 cents to buy and it looked like a book (not like it looks like a regular magazine).  So, I would buy it and read it practically from cover to cover.  They used to have little synopses of all the movies that would be on that week in the back of the magazine and I would read them...especially the ones about old movies. Since we traveled all the time in evangelism, I didn't have many friends that I saw often.  We were in a different town, state, and church every week.  I think it was then that I started to really enjoy following celebrities.  They were the "friends" of my childhood.  I suppose it sounds silly, but I really do think that is where it started.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a superfan type stalker person.  I don't idolize these people.  I am just curious about them and hope that they are doing well.  And when a celebrity that I am interested in has a problem, I feel for them.   I pray for them.  After all, these celebrities have a lot of pressure on them and are literally watched constantly.  Can you imagine being watched all the time, every day, and having people just waiting to take a picture or video of some silly thing you might say or do?  I always thought that being a preachers kid was living in a fish bowl, but it's nothing compared to those who choose to brave the lime light.  They deserve our prayers.  If you do not like something you are seeing coming out of the film industry or television, you can bellyache about it, you can rail against the horrible thing you are seeing...or you can pray about it.  Prayer is a powerful tool that I do not think we are using enough when it comes to Hollywood.

We all know that Hollywood influences the people of our society...for good or for not so good.  And most of us will never have a meeting with anyone who has any real influence over what Hollywood puts out.  But we all have open access to the One who is in charge of everything and He has the power to influence people way more than Hollywood ever will.  And we should be praying for those involved with the shows we like as well as those we do not.  These people are influencing our young people in ways we can not imagine.  Some take that responsibility seriously and try to be good influences, others seem not to care at all what their actions say to others.  But no matter who they are, or how they live their lives, they are people Christ died for and they need our prayers.  If they are Christians, they need our prayers for strength and encouragement.  If they are not, they need our prayers all the more.

So, I have decided that for the rest of this year, I am going to choose one television show or movie cast/crew/production team each week and pray for them.  Pray for their safety.  Pray for their families.  Pray for them.  I don't have to know all their names to pray for them.  I know the One who knows all their names.  I'm a firm believer that prayer changes things.

Anyone care to join me?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"We Need A Spaceship!"

Great Friends!  Luke, Jeremy, Me, Lynnette, and Jordan
Last week, I got to take a vacation.  I went to Phoenix, Arizona and spent the week with some very dear friends who I never get to see.  They are like family to me and I am so blessed to be "Aunt Toni" to their son, Luke. It was a joy to spend time with them, see some sights, visit with other friends, and cheer on Jordan at his football game last Friday.

While his parents, Jeremy and Lynnette were at work, I got to take care of Luke.  He is this amazing 3 year old with a huge imagination.  He looks at life with such wonder and excitement.  In fact, there is no problem that cannot be fixed with his new tools that he got for his birthday.

Aunt Toni and Luke
On my first day with him, Luke and I went outside and were watching a hummingbird that was in the tree in their front yard.  As it flitted around (as hummingbirds do) our conversation went something like this:
Luke:  Catch it, Aunt Toni.
Me:  I can't Luke.  It's too high.
Luke:  We need a spaceship!

Then Luke, went about finding and fixing his needed spaceship...which turned out to be the same tree that the hummingbird had enjoyed flying around.  Luke went inside and got his tools, brought them out and went to work.  Soon, he said, "Ok, Aunt Toni!  Get on." (My spot was next to a particular knothole of the tree).

Luke:  Ready?
Me:  Yes.  Where are we going?
Luke:  Uh oh.  It's broken.
Me:  It's broken?  Can you fix it?
Luke:  Yes.

And he would then go about fixing whatever the day's problem was.  Once it needed gas, once the key didn't work, etc.  Each day, he worked...but just because the problem never seemed to go away, he wasn't deterred.  It was just onto whatever the next issue to fix was.  The problems were not really a big deal.  They just had to be dealt with.

I wonder how often we are not as determined as Luke about the problems in our own lives.  When one comes up, do we fix it?  And if we fix it, but it breaks again, do we continue to try or do we just give up?

Too many times, I see people give up on fixable issues.  They live life for "happiness" and if it doesn't make them happy, then they quit.  But what they do not seem to realize is that the joy in life does not just come from the things that make us happy for a moment, but also through the work it took to get to that moment.  And the work it will take to get to the next part of our lives.  Often the things that we have to work on the hardest not only bring us joy, but also satisfaction.  I am happy when I have a birthday party, but I get joy out of throwing one for someone else.  You see the difference?  Both are enjoyable, but joy comes out of the one that requires work.

I can pretty much guarantee you that Luke's Spaceship will never leave Earth, but he sure is having a great time working on it.  He continues to go out and when a problem comes up, he'll "fix" it.  He's enjoying the journey.  For him, building the Spaceship is simply about the job at hand.  He's working on it...and he's not giving up.

Don't be afraid of the adventures that road blocks in life can bring.  After all, road blocks often involve detours, and you can learn a lot from a detour.  They often take us places we would not have thought to go otherwise.  So, next time a road block shows up, what will you do?   Will you give up? Will you worry and fret about the change in direction?  Or will you "build a spaceship" and keep going.  Personally, I agree with Luke.  "We need a spaceship."

Luke and his Spaceship