Dad Confession: One Direction

This is my “Dad Confession” for the day.

So I had a moment this morning that should remain private. What happens in the car when you’re alone should remain in the car. Right! Here I am innocently driving my car to work when I hear the local radio station doing live crosses from the local school. Its cute, they play the school choir and everything seems right with the world. But then in a moment of weakness it happened. I don’t know what it was, maybe the first few bars of the song, the sweet production or simply a neuron relapse in the left back lower quadrant of my frontal lobe? Continue reading “Dad Confession: One Direction”

Willing to Live Again

I Hope - Willing to Live Again

Thanks to the wonders of email I received an update promotional email from Willow Creek today from their team preparing for the GLS 2012 – Global Leadership Summit. I know its not a new technology but how do they know how to deliver the right stuff on the right day? Amazing Smile with tongue out  It included this YouTube video from Pastor Ben Snyder. My reason for posting this is because many spikey haired 18-19 year olds need to know they can live again. I remember the stuff-ups that I racked up like high scores in my late teens and early twenties. It seemed I took the advice of “keep failing forward” as a mandate for high velocity speed wobbles. As I recognised my failure in amongst life's joys and sorrows part of me wants to do the whole early adult years again. Partly so I can put right a few wrongs and partly so I can remember what it was like to feel the wind in my hair and the gentle massage of a comb.

If you’re wondering about life after stupidity before you deal with life after death, then know that you’re in good company. As we live we find in amongst the things we do are the hopes we dream. I’ve learned my first step in the right direction is to accept God’s forgiveness. That one seemed easy but was actually hard for a while. I needed to look more at God’s character in his faithfulness to forgive rather than expecting God to act like me. And now the second step is to look forward and let the new day deliver fresh hope. Behind me is rust and decay so I’ll look ahead where I see new growth, fresh bread, clear water and brighter days.

Movie Review: The Grey

Movie Review - The Grey

So how does a survival movie fare with a pack of hungry wolves hunting their human prey? How do the audience feel when the humans are low on respect for life, their fellow man and themselves? Despite the feel that this movie had only one way to turn we still went along for the ride. Similar to the Titanic you feel you know what’s going to happen but you simply can’t look away and want to see it through to the end.
Looking at reviews prior to attending a movie review is considered wrong by most reviewers. I agree, the whole idea of attending the review is to judge the unobstructed impact on yourself and the audience. So what drew me to investigate “The Grey” prior to attending this review I don’t know. Possibly the topic matter of humans on the run from wolves meant I wanted to check the ‘scare’ factor to see who I would invite along for the ride. This presented me with a conundrum as the movie was rating over average but the general public who had seen it were split at the extremes. Some saw it as an existential masterpiece and scored it 9 or 10 out of 10 while others couldn’t believe the stupidity and scores ranking in the 1s and 2s followed.
The storyline takes us along with some of the roughest scum on the planet as they leave their work in the Alaskan oil fields to fly out for a break back in civilisation. After a plane crash puts them down in an artic wilderness its survival time with a the local wolf pack guarding their territory against the quibbling intruders. Liam Neeson plays Ottway, a hunter who’s been hiding from life in a job where his role has been to protect the pipeline workers from the hungry wildlife who stalk the workers. He’s a mixed up bag as he saves others but seems bent on his own destruction. After the plane crash he starts to try and bring direction and unity to the surviving band of misfits with no purpose. They are less than impressed with being told what to do and like any organisation, their disunity brings decay and decay brings death.
I’m not going to tell you the outcomes blow by blow, that’s the nature of this style of movie as one event leads to another as the ‘red-shirt’ members of the party fight to live. So why did the audiences love or hate this release. Was it the expected ending, the cast or worse the soundtrack. Director Joe Carnahan has proven himself a great director and for those who have enjoyed The A-Team and Smokin’ Aces its easy to see he’s putting out some good content as both writer and director.
[quote type=”center”] I’m concerned audiences are starting to see him as gravy beef [/quote]
If you’ve seen both of these previous productions you’d also be aware that their story-lines have their fair share of humour. That I think is where Joe went wrong even if it was without intention. The movie is visually impressive. The tension builds well as the cast look to avoid becoming top of the wolf menu and there is a reasonable amount of both humanity and distain built around the cast to make you want to see them survive or die. Where the movie fell on its face is a couple of times where the physical or visual result on screen was so outside realism that the tense audience burst out laughing. The story then lost momentum and I don’t think it recovered. It didn’t matter then how much strong language, gutsy characters or grotesque scenes you threw in, it still was off pace with the rest of the movie. All up a great movie spoilt by two episodes that probably take up one minute of the whole film.
Joe Carnahan has lots more to offer so I hope he learns from this outing. Another person I hope learns a lesson is Liam Neeson. He must be considered the ‘rabbits foot’ of the movie industry at the moment. The number of movies that require the ‘Neeson’ attachement is astounding. Since 2008 he has been in at least 18 movies and three TV productions of which three were voice roles. You can’t get away from the fact he is a talent but I’m concerned audiences are starting to see him as gravy beef because of the volume of appearances when he should be the scotch fillet. Lets get back to the quality we know and expect when we remember Schindler’s List.
All up a good experience if you like your movie on the edge.
3 out of 5 popcorns

Walkie Talkie Man

I came across this video for Walkie Talkie Man the other day. The Auckland based band Steriogram had a hit with this on release in 2004. It was from here it went viral after iPod used it as a soundtrack to their advertising. The video is a craft group's nightmare or a knitters paradise depending on the way you look at it. Play it loud and set it to high resolution full screen. Just a little sidetrack for the day.




Spending Dad’s Cash

A Trooper in the air

;Creative Commons License ;Photo Credit: Kristina Alexanderson via Compfight

I still remember looking at my Dad's collection of LPs (old speak for MP3 embedded on black plastic dinner plates) and thinking I wonder if I can have these when he dies. It’s a strange feeling thinking your parents are really old and wondering if they will 'leave' you anything in their will. My Dad has now sold all those LPs. A few upgrades that included golf clubs and now a growing CD collection have meant that incredible collection of Elvis records along with a few Charlies like Charlie Rich and Charlie Pride will never be mine.

That little confessional story from my childhood also shows the short-sighted nature of selfishness. Even at a young age I was looking at 'whats in it for me'. As we grow we face new choices just like the Prodigal Son that Jesus spoke about in Luke 15. The bottom line was he wanted to spend his Dad's cash before he'd even earned his own. There always seems to be a pinch of laziness that seasons a life of greed.

The youngest son wanted to live it up and felt the Dad owed him. It took quite a journey for him to learn the lessons he needed to face life with a different perspective. Become a kid again for 4min and watch this video. Don't be so focussed on the son that you don't catch some great lessons from the Father and the older brother. In fact the older brother's biggest challenge was his focus on being… wait a minute I'm telling the story when I should let Crossroads tell the tale.

I really couldn't resist this video on the "Prodigal Son" from the Crossroads Kid's Club. Their range of videos available via their Vimeo account is brilliant as a resource for Sunday School teachers and Religious Education teachers. If you enjoy the video why not leave a comment on their Vimeo page by clicking through or heading to their website at Crossroads.

One Thing Remains

Silhouette Seat
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Hamish Irvine via Compfight

Today I had one of those moments where you just need to know that God is still in control. My Mum must have been ‘in the zone’ because she sent me a TXT with Lamentations 3 v 22-27 which was spot on and then this song by Jeremy Riddle came on the radio from the crew at LifeFM All up Lamentations might sound scary to some but the verse, the song all came together and reminded me how we need to remain strong not because we will prevail like some humans vs. aliens movie script, but because of our God’s Love and Faithfulness.

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
     – Lamentations 3 v 22-27

One Thing Remains – Lyrics

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
constant in the trial and the change

This one thing remains

Higher than the mountains that i face
Stronger than the power of the grave
constant in the trial and the change

This one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid

This one thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

In death
In life
I'm confident and covered by the Power of Your great love

My debt is paid
There’s nothing that can separate
My heart from Your great love

Your love never fails
(Your love never fails me)

And on and on and on and on it goes
For you overwhelm and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

– Jeremy Riddle

Better Days Ahead

This morning I found this video from mate Steve Grace that he has recorded with the Watoto Children’s choir. I remember Steve saying what a challenge it was getting the primary shoot done in the outback. There’s a lot to be said for dusty trails. You need time to get where you’re going and an understanding of the wear and tear it can take on your equipment. If you jump into the trip without this understanding you’ll probably travel unprepared and unequipped. Steve and his team know the bush and so they meet those challenges head on. The right equipment, the right attitude and the perseverance to deal with the occasional equipment failure or weather change get the job done.

These are some of the great attributes of faith. When we walk through life we can be fooled into thinking; “If I have enough faith, life will be sweet”. The wiser road says if I have enough faith I know the journey isn’t the destination. Heaven isn’t a ‘place on earth’. Jesus said he would 'go' and then he would 'come' to 'take' us where he had prepared a place. The catch cry of this video is the line “I Believe”. I love an old line I’ve heard many times. “If faith was easy everyone would be doing it”. Sure we go through the highs and lows, the times of banquets and the times when it feels like famine. Today just remind yourself of those two words; “I Believe”.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
John 14:2-3

Fall in love with God’s creation

I saw this video today of what happens when a drop of water is dropped into a pool of water. It is beautiful, astonishing and gives me a new sense of awe of the beauty instilled in the details of God’s creation. Check out this video filmed at 2000fps.

My EDS Videos from the Superbowl

I have had a great deal of respect for the creative team behind the EDS Superbowl ads. They did a great job of explaining the inherent difficulties in upgrading or transitioning between technologies while trying to keep a business ‘in the air’. Enjoy!!