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Material Illness

Were you thinking Mental Illness? That’s not a typo in the title. I have a few stories to tell today, and they just might open your eyes to a better life.

When I was a kid I desired attention, maybe you did too? I loved it when my parents would play with me, or take the time to encourage me at sports or art or Cub Scouts. It meant a lot. You too may have fond memories.1003-best-buddies-forever

If you were lucky enough to go on vacations as a young person, then I bet you’ve tried to recreate these experiences later in life, maybe with your own family. Maybe you yearn for some of these experiences that you remember.

In my adult years I seem to watch a lot of TV. Over the years I’ve seen my fair share of daytime shows like Dr. Phil where a family is in turmoil, or a child is disturbed. I’ve seen this show play out in lives surrounding my own and I bet you have too. Maybe we all just need a vacation, eh?

Let me tell you what I really see. I see relationships. I see good examples and bad examples, but in the end it’s the relationships that matter. Dr. Phil points out what needs to change…the kid cries and opens up…the parents are shocked to realize the solution wasn’t so difficult. What do we take from these “happy” outcomes?

Here’s the rub. The big issue. Too many of us have never come to the point of realizing there is a problem, but if we look in the mirror, if we strain our eyes just a little bit, I think we’ll see it.

In a country where we seemingly “have it all”, we have so little. What?! What are you talking about?! It’s quite simple. What do you remember from your childhood, from school, from your life? What do you really long for? I bet if you are honest with yourself you will bring to mind relationships. Who was your best buddy growing up? What adventures did you have? Any friends in school or college that you formed lasting memories with over the years? How about family engagements? Games nights? Good conversation? Going to lunch with co-workers and learning about their lives? These are the memories that most of us recall and cherish. This fact is why we have a problem.

The problem is that too many of us have changed. We have somehow decided that buying stuff is where the memories are at now. We buy a new car, then after a year it’s not good enough. We collect stuff and can never have enough. We buy stuff and NEVER open it, now that’s crazy. Let’s think about this. I remember some of my toys and stuff from my childhood, it was fun. But it was TRULY the relationships that I yearn to remember and have again AND have in abundance.

Dr. Phil points out how there are relationship problems at the core of many of his shows. It’s never about not having the right stuff! It’s never about how you should have been buying this or that; it’s that you shouldn’t have been focused on the wrong things. You should have been focused on the relationships.

You know this also applies to your faith. Your “relationship” with Jesus is key! Why would it be any different? If church is a building and you go to “get” something, then it’s not a relationship, it’s a thing; it’s stuff. Salvation is not something to buy, it’s a gift and gifts come from a relationship. If you don’t “know” Jesus, then maybe you haven’t been looking for a relationship with him. Make sense?

Remember the fact that you have some pretty good memories from good relationships in your past and present. Seek to build on these or start new ones. Memories are gifts. Cherish them, build on them and get over your material illness!


Fireproof – WOW! A Review

For me, easily the best movie I’ve seen this year.  I’ll tell you why.  AND it’s not just for Christians.  But first some interesting insight into Hollywood.  Isn’t it interesting how Fireproof only opened in 839 theaters (with a $7764 avg per theater)?  It pulled in 6.5 million this weekend!  That’s fourth place behind:




1. Eagle Eye (avg $8319 per theater of 3510 theaters it opened in = $29.2 million)

2. Nights in Rodanthe (avg $5018 per theater of 2704 theaters it opened in = $13.6 million)

3. Lakeview Terrace (avg $2837 per theater of 2467 theaters it opened in = $7 million)

http://www.the-movie-times.com/thrsdir/TopTen.mv (This link will be out of date next week)

That means that Hollywood made a big mistake, since if Fireproof had opened in 3510 theaters it could have grossed $27.3 million if it carried that same “per theater” average…  Most likely the average would have fallen a bit, but still there were some bad decisions.  Why?  Christian film bias?  Not enough gore and sex, so they thought it wouldn’t do too good?  TYPICAL

Anyway, now why it’s a great movie!  And I admit, I wasn’t expecting it to be great.

1. Humor.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a movie this year.  Is it bad when you hear your laughter echoing off the walls and the theater is full?  I see a lot of movies mind you.

2. Suspense.  It even had some good suspense with me wiggling in my seat trying to move the people on the screen.  This was good, but not Cloverfield good.

3. Drama, great, detailed, honest, realistic DRAMA.  I tell you, I saw myself on the screen saying the exact words in the exact same way, but in real life.  The acting was overall excellent.  And to think, they all worked voluntarily.  Yep, no million dollar paychecks, probably just some free food I would guess.  How refreshing, a job that people really just wanted to do!

4.  Instruction.  I learned some things about my marriage that I had forgotten.  Yep, me, I forgot something!  The instruction applies to all marriages, Christian based or not, so this is a free counseling session and the best date movie I have been to EVER.  It beat Titanic on many levels for me.

5. Tear jerker.  Yep, if you have a conscience and you have tear ducts, you will cry if you are a woman and you will fight REAL HARD if you are a guy.  Emotion is good, so be a man, don’t be afraid if it!  But please, try to be able to count your tears and don’t create a waterfall!  It’s all good man!

6. If you are Christian, the movie may well strengthen your faith.  If you just like to go to movies, you may gain some powerful insight into the “secret world” of Christians!!!!!  Ahhhhhhh!

Welcome to the world of GREAT entertainment without all the Hollywood language, overt violence, unnecessary sex and drug scenes!  REFRESHING.  If you have kids, this movie is even more important.