Monday, February 26, 2007

What a blessing that we can take so for granted the depth and richness we have in Christian fellowship. Do we realize what we have when at any time we have dozens of close friends willing to jump into any gap when we find ourselves under a storm cloud? That we have counselling, consoling, and encouraging friends in any crisis?

Don't get me wrong; Church is about the worship of God, but to be with so many people who realize that worship takes so many forms. Do any of us comprehend the vast resources free for the asking, that the world has to hire at premium costs?

You all are an incredible blessing to me. Thank you for your fellowship.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Started my weight management program today. Can't give too many details in a public forum, but this is the program of one of my clients. I've been looking forward to this for awhile. I could have started last Monday, but with my 16th anniversary and V-Day last week, today seemed better.

I got my bow-flex cleaned up yesterday. Swallowed a handful of supplements and drank a big glass of water. Took my mile walk with Lynette this morning, did a little muscle training (not really, I'll learn the right way soon; for now I just did a few sets for arms and chest). And I enjoyed my first meal replacement shake for breakfast.

It wasn't bad. A little gritty, but the taste was good. I got a brain freeze with the first sip, then it went down smoothly. I don't know if it does what it says it will, yet. I've rarely eaten breakfast, so I don't get hungry normally until lunch. I'll have another shake for lunch after a mid morning snack and a lot of water. If I'm not hungry at two, then I'll know if it really works (but I'm sure it will. I've got a ton of confidence in my client).

My goals are pretty simple. I bought a pair of 501 jeans a year ago that fit for about two weeks. My goal is to fit in them again.

My body comp said I need to lose 40 pounds and gain 20 pounds of muscle for a net loss of 20 pounds. Motivation has always been my downfall, but this program addresses that through knowledge - more so than any other plan I've seen. It's already working for a number of people, so I'm excited to see what it will do for me. More important than the physical dimension is the mental component. My memory has been slipping, as well as my reasoning abilities. This program should give a lot of that back.

Can't wait. :)

Conviction from a ten-year-old...

We had the son and daughter of some good friends over yesterday. Ben played the daughter a game of chess with her little brother watching. Ben was winning, and the little brother - who doesn't know the game - was giving advice to his big sister on every move. Unfortunately the pieces couldn't move the way he wanted them to, so the advice was never taken.

Not once did his big sister bark at him, tell him to stop, tell him to go away, or yell at the top of her lungs. She either ignored him or patiently told him why that wouldn't work.

This little girl passed a character test that I would not have if the little brother had been one of my kids or a sibling. Ben and I discussed it after they'd gone. We both decided she was an amazing girl with fantastic parents and a healthy helping of the Holy Spirit.

I'm blessed to have a lot of older friends (and a few younger) that I can be inspired and challenged by; it's humbling to have ten-year-olds who can do the same thing.

I know the outlaw said he'd review Facing the Giants, but I saw it last night and wanted to say a few words.

What a great movie!

We were cruising through the listings of movies the other day and very few looked any good (Copying Beethoven will be a DVD rental in the future; we did see Night In The Museum, which I'd recommend as a fun family film, though explaining the whole "why don't the mom and dad live together and how does mom having a boyfriend work" ((it's great having friends with kids who really don't know anything about divorce)). Finding movies I like has become more and more difficult.

I didn't have high hopes for FtG, because the Christian movies I've seen have been pretty bad. The Left Behind movies are terrible and the good ones tend to be done by secular studios. We borrowed it and set about watching it. I loved it. It was inspiring, the camera work was good, the acting was uneven, but it was a great script and solidly directed. It was evangelical without being preachy (well, it would be to unbelievers, probably, but it was an extension of the coach's faith, not the director's).

Movies, by their nature, are predictable. It's the journey, not the goal. You knew they'd get all their hopes and dreams, but HOW they got them was the game and it worked well.

We'll have to make one. Makes me want to rework my rom-com-dram into a Christian rom-com-dram. Should be easy to shoot, too. Hmmmmm....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Clive Cussler is suing the producers of Sahara. They're suing back, of course.

The movie cost 160 million smackers and took in 68 mill domestic. Because it was a bad, boring, slow, flat movie. I looked forward to it coming out, because it looked like a fun adventure story. It wasn't.

Cussler disowned the movie (though he made 12 million dollars off of it). He corrected several scripts, approved four of them, and then the producers commissioned someone to write a completely different movie. The director, meanwhile, couldn't decide if it should be an adventure movie, a shoot-em-up action movie (which is darker than an adventure movie), or a mystery. So he took the worst aspects of all of them and threw them in a blender.

Did I mention it was a sad, terrible movie? Good actors, mind you, but everything else was awful.

This is the danger of selling your story to Hollywood. Normally, I'd happily laugh my way to the bank over such a disaster, if I were the writer, but Dirk Pitt is a franchise movie. Now, personally, I'd be happy with 12 mill, but Cussler has written dozens of DP novels, all of which can be made into movies. Sahara was a franchise killer, and lost him several hundred millions in future earnings. He says it's about the story, which I can understand, and probably it is. You have to love a character to write that many books about him. Cussler has so much money that the future earnings aren't that big a deal, but not getting his stories to the screen? That could be a big deal. It's just when you're talking so much money, it gets surreal quickly...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I was listening to 4Him's "Great Awakening" and thought how cool it would be to experience a revival? Not where a person or two come to the Lord, but thousands. A Peter-on-the-steps-of-the-temple kind of revival. An Edwards or Finney kind of revival. The kind where you look out the window and people walking by spontaneously break out in song, dancing in the Spirit, prophetic proclamations. Business meetings turn into prayer and confession; everyone extolling praise for the Lord.

Then I look honestly at myself and question if I would truly find it cool or not. New believers, especially thousands of new believers, exhibit a zeal that I could find threatening in my complacency. I realize I need revival as much as any unbeliever. Within all of us exists unbelief that God wants to revive into solid belief. We're all potential for revival. A great awakening among the wakeful dozers.

Now THAT would be cool.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fear of Failure.

I'm not alien to the concept, of course. As a freelancer I'm always wondering if I'll be able to support my family. I try not to let it paralyze me, though, yet in the past I have. In a conversation with a person of EXTRAORDINARY talent, fear of failure was raised as a reason not to move forward.

Shall we examine fear of failure? Back before "getting it 0ut there" was my means of earning a living, I would write, say, a screenplay and never send it out. Part of it was not being sure of the process, but most of it was confidence that no one would pick it up any way, so why try? That's defeatism, though, not fear of failure. I've had a book picked up by a publisher only to have the publishing house sold and my property not sold with it. Again, not my failure.

I've written things people have hated. Poor deranged people, I can live with that. What about the the thought "What if it's no good?" Well, it's incumbent on people who say "that's no good" to also say "this is why." So it can be improved...

Your thoughts on fear of failure, please.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Superbowl Sunday

Believe it or not, I like watching football - at least the big games (and any game at M&M's). This one, though, while a blast because of the company I was priviledged to share it with, was dissappointing.

First, Billy Joel's grandpa sang the national athem (they said it was actually Billy Joel, himself, but I know what Billy looks like and this wasn't him).

I loved the first quarter. I was rooting for the Bears (because I think any group of guys from Chicago should be able to beat anybody in any other city. Anybody remember Capone? Probably not the best rational, but I used to pick the team by who had the coolest looking helmet - so the Rams and Chargers should have been in every Superbowl). A touchdown off the kickoff and I thought I had a sure thing. No such luck, but fumbles were fun to watch.

The best thing about the Superbowl is supposed to be the commercials. There were only a couple (Rock, Paper, Scissors with a real rock, and the Doritos commercials). To be fair, we skipped the GoDaddy commercials because who needs filth on a Sunday (or any day?)?

And Prince. Remember when he could sing? No? Maybe my memory's bad, as it is with everything else. Again, to be fair, it was raining. No one was electrocuted, which I'm sure dissappointed the Bears...

Before the game we saw a little bit of basketball. Better known as snoreball. Baseball is all-American, football is romanesque in a gladitorial kind of way, and basketball is just plain booorrrringgggg no matter where it's played.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Is it ironic that God, for whom time is an option, is a God of timing?

Wayne spoke elegantly last night (as always) of "staying on mission" and doing all that we do in light of pleasing God. And this morning potential for opportunity presents itself that, without that timely word last night I could easily, in my always persistent flesh, focus on the wrong aspect and get excited by the wrong thing.

It is through such things that God presents Himself with a smile and a wink. "What good does it do a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" Or more colloquially, "Don't get ahead of yourself; take My hand and stroll in My pleasure." May it always be so, Lord.

This is especially poignant now because back in Seattle, a bright and beautiful 15 year old girl lies in a coma, experiencing horrible seizures whenever they lessen her medication. Her parents don't yet know the Lord; and yet even in that, while the bigger picture leaves us wondering, God inserts little moments of His precious timing that says "Even here, I AM."

Those incidents of God's obvious presence and timing must sustain us through the difficult times when God is not silent, but we are deaf. Our ears must turn inward to the voice of faith. For this, too, pleases God.