Archive for the ‘film’ Category

From the moment we are born, we learn words and actions from those around us. That trend continues throughout our lives, our thoughts and feels are moulded by how the people around us react to situations.

That’s why we need to be careful that we surround ourselves with those who are good influences on us. Otherwise we will get into the habit of saying or doing things which we would normally not want to do or say. So be careful what you see and hear, because they will influence who are become.

If I were to ask you if in your family you have any Christmas traditions you uphold each year, what would your answers be?

  • Spending a day Christmas shopping with your friends or family
  • Putting up the Christmas tree
  • Decorating the house
  • Giving gifts to family and friends
  • Spending quality time with family on Christmas Day
  • Eating turkey and generally  over-eating!
  • Attending a carol service

In our house, we have a tradition of starting our Christmas season by sitting down and watching one of our favourite Christmas films. For the last few years it’s been the same film watched, as it has become my husband’s favourite, and that is the film Elf!

I’m sure if we went round the room we’d find we all consider a lot of different films to be our favourites and that shouldn’t surprise us as there are hundreds to choose from with new films being release each year. Never mind all the classic Christmas films which I’m sure we’ve all watched a few times.

When I was considering about what I’d share with you tonight, I got thinking about what Christmas would have been like if that very first Christmas never happened. And this turned my thoughts to my Mum’s favourite Christmas film, the classic, It’s A Wonderful Life.

James Stewart plays George Bailey who along with his uncle, has inherited the Bailey Brothers’ Building and Loan, saving it from takeover by the banker. He builds affordable housing for local residents, again annoying his local business rival. Then a few years later on Christmas Eve, George’s uncle misplaces the $8000 that was due to be paid to the bank for the building and loan, meaning George knows he will probably go to jail. So on that snowy night he heads out in desperation, uncertain what to do, and gets drunk and into a fight. Wishing he had never been born, he  comes to a bridge and considers committing suicide.

But then, instead of committing suicide he finds himself ‘rescuing’ Clarence Oddbody from the water. We discover Clarence is an angel, and so when George tells him he wishes he’d never been born, Clarence grants his wish to see what the world would have looked like if he never been born.

Through the rest of the film we discover that George’s life has had a significant impact on his family, friends and community, and had he never been born, other people’s lives would have been worse.

So what would life be like if Jesus had never been born? What if the first Christmas never happened? No baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger; No shepherds being told by an angel that Christ had been born; No wise men following a star to a stable to give their gifts to baby Jesus.

I found this quote from Frederick Buechner which describes the impact the birth of Jesus has had on this world:

It is impossible to conceive how different things would have turned out if that birth had not happened whenever, wherever, however it did … for millions of people who have lived since, the birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it. It is a truth that, for twenty centuries, there have been untold numbers of men and women who, in untold numbers of ways, have been so grasped by the child who was born, so caught up in the message he taught and the life he lived, that they have found themselves profoundly changed by their relationship with him.

Have you considered the impact Jesus has had on your life? Would your life have been different is Jesus had not been born?

John 1:1-2 (Living Bible)

Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.

At this time of year it can be so easy to get caught up in our Christmas traditions, and forget why we actually celebrate Christmas. But we need to remember who Christmas is about:

Who is he in yonder stall at whose feet the shepherds fall?

I pray that this year as you celebrate Christmas, you not only continue your Christmas traditions, but you remember the impact Jesus has had on your life, as you celebrate the birth of Jesus:

‘Tis the Lord, O wondrous story!

‘Tis the Lord, the King of glory;

at his feet, we humbly fall,

crown him, crown him Lord of all!

2016 is almost over – For me for a change it’s been a year of no specific highs or lows!

Let’s have a look back over this year:

As far world events are concerned there’s been a lot of major tragedies, with many losing their lives. There have also been many celebrities from the world of tv/film and music who have passed away, causing much comment around the world about the number of celebs that 2016 has lost. For me it is sad how many celebs have died, but I’m not quite getting the huge outcry about it, as there are many friends and family who have also been devastated by the death of loved ones, and so my heart goes out to everyone who this year have lost a loved one.

What about from a spiritual perspective, how has 2016 been for you?

  • Relationship_with_GodHas it been a year where your relationship with God has grown or declined?
  • Have you prayed regularly?
  • Have you listened to what God has to say to you in this last year?
  • Have you said “yes” to all God has asked you to do this year?
  • When difficult times have come along during, did you turn to God for help immediately, or wait until turning to God was your last resort?
  • Have you done your best to tell others about Jesus?
  • Has God been at the centre of all you’ve done in 2016?
  • If you’ve answered “Yes” to all of the above questions, well done, you’re obviously doing the best you can to be a good example of Christ to those you encounter.

Sadly, I guess if we’re honest with ourselves, many of us, including me, will find we did not answer “Yes” to all those questions, but answered either “No” or “Sometimes” to at least one or two of these questions.

The good news is, no matter what we answered to those questions, we can make 2017 the year we answer “Yes” to all these questions by simply by trusting God to help us in every part of our life, not just the parts we’re choose to let Him into.

So as 2017 draws near, draw closer to God and let Him into every part of your life.

You’re all I want
You’re all I’ve ever needed
You’re all I want
Help me know you are near

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, but as you’ll see from the title this is another Christmas word association today. It may be a Christmas edition word association, but it’s the same format, so I’m going to throw some words at you  and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

  1. wordsChristmas film
  2. Shopping
  3. Clothes
  4. Decorations
  5. Holiday
  6. Present
  7. Letter
  8. Stable
  9. Nativity
  10. Weather

 

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Elf
  2. Mayhem
  3. Jumper
  4. Time
  5. No work!
  6. Money
  7. Santa
  8. Jesus
  9. Children
  10. Snow

 

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did any of my answers confuse you? Did any of your own answers confuse you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing them as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

By the way, if you want me to explain any of my answers, just ask!

Life can sometimes feel like a sinking ship, although it can be turned around so it doesn’t become another Titanic disaster…

sinking-ship

Just a it’s possible to stop water seeping into a ship and prevent it from sinking, so it’s possible to stop your life becoming like a sinking ship. I completely understand that when you are in the middle of a “sinking ship” situation, it may seem impossible to plug the hole that is allowing the “water” to seep into your life.

However if we give our problems, our stresses to God, He will help us plug that hole in our “sinking ship”.

Trust-takes-years-to-build

Have you seen the film “Meet the Parents“?

The film focuses on Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his Pam Byrnes (his girlfriend) as they go to her parents house, where he plans to propose. However meeting her parents doesn’t go quite as smoothly as Stiller had hoped as her ex-FBI father (played by Robert De Niro) takes an instant dislike to Stiller.

This dislike of Stiller, causes De Niro to exclude him from what he calls his “circle of trust”, which basically includes all his close family and friends, and they alone are the ones who get included in special events, and hear about information that’s not commonly available about those in the “circle of trust”.

Circle-of-Trust

The film Meet the Parents, focuses on an amusing attempt to gain the trust of a soon to be family member, but sadly in real life, being outside the “circle of trust” of those you considerate to be friends, can be far from amusing for those on the outside. In fact it will make the “outsider” feel even more of an outsider, making them feel unwanted and alone.

Maybe inadvertently, maybe intentionally, when individuals are singled out for exclusion from events/discussions it can cause them great pain and upset. Many can find it difficult to interact/mix with others, particularly if they are on their own, so being excluded exacerbates their feelings of failure and inability to socialise with others, which in turn makes it more difficult to mix with others…and so one thing exacerbates the other leaving them further from being part of that inner circle, that “circle of trust”.

Who’s in your “circle of trust”? Are you inadvertently excluding one or more people from your “circle of trust”? Have you considered what impact that is having on them?

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, but as you’ll see from the title this is another Christmas word association today. It may be a Christmas edition word association, but it’s the same format, so I’m going to throw some words at you  and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

  1. wordsSleigh
  2. Donkey
  3. Angel
  4. Christmas morning
  5. Card
  6. Cooking
  7. TV
  8. Elf
  9. Tree
  10. Home

 

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Santa
  2. Nativity
  3. Mary
  4. Early
  5. Postage
  6. Hours
  7. Christmas films
  8. Film
  9. Tinsel
  10. Family

 

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did any of my answers confuse you? Did any of your own answers confuse you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing them as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

By the way, if you want me to explain any of my answers, just ask!

A few of months ago as many of you will know, my Mum passed away. My Mum loved everything about Christmas: the music, the Christmas films, family time and of course the reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus – so I have found this festive season particularly difficult.

Those of you who know me will know I have a few favourite Christian artists, one of whom is Mark Schultz, so when I heard the above song, and the story behind it on Facebook, it really touched me. I knew right then that I had to share it with you today, Christmas Day, in the hope that it may help someone else who is mourning the loss of someone close this Christmas – Here’s what Mark Schultz had to say about this song:

This song is special for me and my family. I wrote it with my wife after her dad passed away 3 years ago. It was our first Christmas without him, and Kate was decorating for the holidays. She came into the garage holding a box of ornaments and had tears streaming down her face. She said to me, “it’s a different kind of Christmas this year”.

At some point in our life we will all lose someone that is close to us, and that first Christmas without them is a tough one to get through. I hope this song will bring comfort to those who are mourning the loss of someone this season. Please share it with someone who might need to hear it this year.

May the peace and love of Christmas be with you today and every day so that the pain and loss you are feeling becomes a little more bearable.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

So we’ve just reached the end of the first week of November, and already I’ve lost count of the number of TV adverts which are advertising something related to Christmas. Add to this the fact that we now have several TV channels showing Christmas movies 24 hours a day every day, and all the shops and supermarkets now seem to have aisles dedicated, is it any wonder I’m thinking it must be Christmas time!

While I love Christmas and all it represents, but watching constant adverts for the commercial side of Christmas every day from the start of November, almost 2 months before Christmas Day, is not my idea of Christmas!

Let’s make sure we remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas, CHRIST!

Christmas begins with Christ

In the last little while I’ve noticed there are a number of things which many of us will put in the category of either “love them” or “hate them”. So today I thought I’d share with you some more of my love or hate things and see if you can guess which category they fall into for me:

  1. Diet juice
  2. Dark chocolate
  3. Classical music
  4. Bagpipes
  5. Online shopping
  6. Decaffeinated coffee
  7. Downton Abbey (TV show)
  8. Adidas clothing
  9. Disney films
  10. Technology

A bit of a mixed bag of things there isn’t it, but I wonder how many of them you correctly worked out that I love or hate, and how many we have in common…scroll down to find out my answers…

  1. Hate
  2. Hate
  3. Love
  4. Hate
  5. Love
  6. Hate
  7. Hate
  8. Love
  9. Love
  10. Love

So there you go, how many of my answers matched yours?

“Love” and “hate” are two very strong and very different emotions and if we are honest with ourselves I think we will probably find that rather than “loving” or “hating” the items I listed above, we really just “like” or “strongly dislike” them – Does that sound about right?.