Monday, September 19, 2011

You Think You've Got Problems...

Before I share this, I want everyone to understand whatever good you see in me is of God.  I am nothing without Him.  Having said that, I want to encourage everyone that God can do the most amazing things, including touch your heart to serve others though your heart may have hurt of its own.

A few weeks ago, one of my drivers was completing his last few hours of work before heading off to vacation.  He'd planned this fabulous trip to Myrtle Beach or one of those other glorious golf destinations.  You could see the excitement in his face.  In fact, his excitement made me excited. 

Except for one thing, he'd hurt his knee.  Which explains the true reason for our conversation in the first place.  Anyone knows, if you've got two weeks of vacation coming your way, you don't stand around talking about it!  So, he had to report this injury, but in so doing, he began to really whine about the possibility of it affecting his game.  He was really upset!  So upset, I began to be upset for him!  How awful to be so excited about something, to be so close to realizing it, and -- SLAM!  Just like that, you're sidelined.

A few more minutes of his creased brow, awkward pacing and worried tone, when suddenly he says, "Why am I doing this?  I know you've got problems.  You don't want to listen to me.  Your problems are much worse, I know."

And he does know.  He has almost firsthand knowledge of some of the things Scott and I experience.  But at that time, those things had never crossed my mind.  I hadn't even thought of thinking of my problems!  If I'd taken the time to compile some ridiculous report on "who has it worse," chances are, Scott and I would have trumped his scaled-back vacation with little effort.  At that time, my focus was on someone facing disappointment.

This brings me back to what I said at the start.  Whatever good you see in me is of God.  I don't want to ruin my life or the lives of others with pettiness, jealousy, bitterness, or unforgiveness.  I want to enjoy the life God has given me and live the life God has given me.  To face each day and each circumstance with a smile, to be there for those who wish to share their victories and defeats, to show others what God has done for me, to testify to God's mercy and grace.

God was alive and working in me that day.  God answered my prayer for change and fullness in my life.  He will do the same for you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: "Seven Days In Utopia"

I said I'd get back to you...

So, I was really excited about seeing this film.  Robert Duvall, a golf theme, the "aw-shucks, doe-eyed innocence" of Lucas Black, down-home values and horses.  Mix with a G Rating the whole family can enjoy... duh, winning.

Well, not exactly.  Don't get me wrong, I am recommending it -- strongly.  But beware the sappy elements. 

Cliche Story: Alcoholic no longer in the game because of his past takes under his wing a struggling young champion of course, because he sees a little of himself in the nipper.

Cliche Sub-Plot: Arrogant native tries to bully the local sweet young thing into romance.  New guy makes a distinct impression on her, and said native becomes instant adversary of new guy.  Later, of course, the animosity heads on out to pasture and all is right for these three crazy kids.

Unique Ending, but Obvious Attempt to Win "Converts": Without saying anymore than this... "And that's a bad thing, why?"

So, yeah, many elements you could see coming from a country mile, but my family -- my whole family -- left with a warm feeling in their hearts, a renewed faith in entertainment, a smile on their lips, and if I'm not mistaken... a sappy little tear peeking out from the corners of their eyes.

You just can't beat a little schmaltz now and then.