Showing posts from February, 2016

Thirty Million Minutes: Dawn French, Billy Crystal and memories

Last night I went to see Dawn French (Vicar of Dibley) in a one-woman stage show with the name 30 Million Minutes. It was the story of her 58 years, which amount to almost 50 million. Give or take a few thousands. After a few minutes I was reminded of another stage show I saw of the same ilk. Billy Crystal, starred on Broadway and we saw that one. 700 Sundays tells the stories of his youth, growing up in the jazz world of Manhattan, his teenage years, and finally adulthood. The Tony Award-winning show is a funny and poignant exploration of family and fate, loving and loss.
Billy's title comes from the 15 years worth of Sundays he and his father Jack Crystal shared before Jack died. Dawn's story was similar in length, in production, in video retrospective, and in pain of searing loss. Both of their dads died when the kids were teens. Both come from very loving families. But while Crystal's show would have been rated PG, Dawn's family history was rated MA-15, to be sure…

Cults, Families and some personal reflections

I watched the NBC Today Show exposé they title #Uncovered on their Friday 19 February. The story featured a woman and her parents and the Korean church titled "World Mission Society Church of God." The founder, a woman, claims to be the incarnate God, born in 1948. The church claims on their 'welcome' page to be "the only true church which God has established on this earth. (Acts 20.28)"

On their introduction page, they say "In 1948 the Second Coming Christ Ahnsahnghong restored the truth of life. The Church of God started as Christ Ahnsahnghong came to Korea." What is the reader to understand? That The church which Paul references in Acts 20 actually existed then, but not again (where did it go?) until 1948 in Korea when a woman was born and became the 2nd coming of Jesus. Wow, what hyperbole, what a leap, what narishkeit!

But the story caught my attention for another and personal reason. You see, after I came to faith in Yeshua in 1971, my f…

Risen, the Movie, the Review

Setting: Today a look at Capitol movie release "Risen" starring Joseph Fiennes as Clavius, a murderous and successful Roman tribune in 30 CE (AD). The setting is the Roman occupation of ancient Judea/ Israel. The title comes from the story told by the followers of Yeshua (that's the name he's called even in the movie) that their hero/ messiah is risen from the dead. Pontius Pilate charges the military tribune Clavius with the responsibility to quell the rumours which otherwise might end Pax Romana, especially before the imminent visit of the Emperor Tiberius.

The acting is real; the settings superb, recreated in Spain for the movie, which depicted the historical accounts of the messianic hopeful named in English Jesus of Nazareth. He is often titled in the movie "The Nazarene" highlighting his roots in nearby Galilee. Scenes include fishing, the healing of a leper, terrorised Jews running from Roman domination, even the end of the crucifixion scene well k…

Brooklyn the movie and finding home

On the movie's website we read, "BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother's home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within."

Yesterday in the BAFTAs in England, Brooklyn won outstanding British film of the year. It asks the question in Ireland and Brooklyn "Where do I belong? What can I make of my life?" CJ Johnson of ABC radio here in Australia writes, "[Brooklyn] lives or dies on Ronan's performance, and it definitely lives, with energy, beauty and grace. Hornby has done a brilliant job adapting Toibin's novel ... as ha…

Choices we make

Maybe this happens to you. I remember this experience when I was a boy in the US. The World Book Encyclopaedia set was in the lounge room, and for whatever reason, I would go to look up some entry, like Mercury Space Program or Toronto, Canada. I would start flipping through the pages of the "M" or "T" book, get distracted by a colourful photograph of Mars or marigolds, and the book had me. Thirty minutes later I was still in the letter "M" book, and couldn't remember at all why I had left my room to investigate something. Ah, childhood research and wonder.

This morning I read a Facebook post by a friend about a violin and a master, and thought of the Myra Brooks Welch poem, and Wayne Watson's rendition in song, "Touch of the Master's Hand." I let the found YouTube video play me to a tear or two again, and then let the YouTube keep playing. Soon, I was listening to many other great songs of faith and hope from about 10-20 years ago…

Yeshua: Chosen and Rejected

A sermon given at St Johns Anglican, Dee Why
31 January 2016

The new teacher asked one toddler “How old are you, Brian?” Brian answered, “I am four.” Then the teacher asked, “When will you turn five years old?” The boy answered, “When I’m done being four.”

I guess we all like clever children, and today’s readings from Psalm 71 (.6, 17), Jeremiah 1 (.5-6), 1 Corinthians 13 (.11) and the Gospel of Luke 4 (.22) all remind us of youth who represent God. But the Gospel also shows us the problem of a person trying to represent the Lord in his hometown. I understand that, and maybe you do also. I grew up as an Orthodox Jew in Kansas City, in the middle of the US, and when I came to believe in Jesus, most who knew me ‘back then’ wouldn’t have anything to do with me nor listen to what I had to say about God. Sometimes the people closest to us, who knew us when, are the ones with whom we have the most difficulty in sharing what we believe about God and Jesus.

That said, let me th…