Things are different. I’m at the stage in my life now where my two sons have grown and left the house but my younger two daughters are still with us. Because of that our Friday night family time usually finds us taking in movies of the Sabrina type genre rather than the Expendables. I’m dealing with it actually quite well.
A while back my oldest daughter ordered a movie called The Help through Netflix and while I wasn’t excited about the show itself, I wanted to be with my girls. So Hinton Tacos and a girly show is what I prepared for. The Help is a great show which is based off of a 2009 novel by the same name. The drama chronicles the stories of African American maids in Jackson Mississippi as recorded by a young white woman during the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Two or three times during the cinematic narrative a motherly black maid lovingly grabs the attention of a young white girl she is responsible for and tells her that; “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” (more…)
This past summer I was talking with one of my older friends from my hometown. In our conversation I discovered that she knew my 9th grade English teacher, Dan Johnson. My friend, Emadene, had taught school with Mr. Johnson’s wife and had nothing but good to say about the man. Likewise, when I think back to the year that I was in his class I have plenty of encouraging memories of my teacher. That year was truly an illustration of God moving in ways we don’t understand? Mr. Johnson was indeed a providential piece of the total equation for the man I am today. (more…)
Ok, show of hands here. How many of you had the burden of memorizing seemingly useless poetry in Junior High School? Yup, me too. But to this day there are a few of those old classic jewels that still stick in my head. One of those was by Emily Dickinson and it went to the tune of, “A word is dead when it is said some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” Now, in addition to the simple fact that the poem is short, I also remember it because it actually says something. I tend to agree with dear old Emily that words are powerful and have the ability to do good or evil. Just ask any elementary school kid on the playground that gets called names. I’ve had my share of complements and ridicules growing up so I know all about it. But when it comes to real names, I like mine. There have been times that I’ve thought of the Stephen in Acts Chapter 7 who was martyred for the Faith. Stephen was a man of great faith who laid it on the line to the point of death. That makes me proud. Some folks have shortened the name to six letters making it, “Steven”, but I would never submit to such a heresy. In fact, I actually draw encouragement from the man who went before me and gave his life for Christ. Names can do that. They can bring boldness and also they can cause discouragement.
But what kind of thoughts and feelings come to mind when you hear the name “Church”? (more…)