Saturday, July 31, 2004

"They Don't Make Good Movies Anymore"

So they don't make good movies anymore? Hmmm... I disagree.

Tom and I have watched many a great flick in the last 10 years. And trust me, I am picky about what I see! I check at least one Christian website, sometimes two, to see if the movie I'm planning to watch is going to be full of Biblical offenses. The movie reviewer at James Dobson's website , does a good job of listing how much, if any, sex, language, violence and moral dilemmas a movie contains.

If we want Hollywood to make morally-sound films, we have to be willing to pay to see them. Let's face it, Hollywood understands one thing: money. And as the saying goes, "Money talks." The money we lay down for our movie tickets (or video rentals) speaks loudly to those who produce modern films.

I confess, I get perturbed with people who proclaim, "They never make good movies nowadays. All movies are full of trash." And I really am irked when these same people never go to a movie theater or rent a video!

Now, of course I'm not saying that everyone must watch movies in theaters or must visit their local video store! But I am saying that it's a sad thing when people who aren't even watching modern movies are the ones condemning them around their friends and relatives. (As if that's going to change anything.)

So to do my part, here is a list of movies I've enjoyed from the last few years. I am calling them "Decent Movies" as in 'being decent from a moral standpoint overall.' As in, they didn't make me blush from embarrassment or leave the theater in disgust. Instead, I left feeling challenged, entertained and happy that I'd contributed money to a worthy cause.

This is not an exhaustive list, nor am I the final authority on what is deemed "decent!" No, it is just my list of films I've enjoyed.


My List of "Decent Movies" From The Last Few Years:

**Housekeeping
**Anne of Green Gables
**Sarah Plain and Tall
**Skylark
Sleepless in Seattle (some language)
**Mrs. Arris Goes To Paris
**Prancer
**While You Were Sleeping (some language)
**You've Got Mail (some offensive language)
Babe
**Groundhog Day
The Truman Show (some offensive language)
Angels in the Outfield
**Rudy ( some offensive language)
The Parent Trap
**October Sky (some offensive language)
**Runaway Bride
Gone Fishin'
**Frequency (some offensive language)
My Dog Skip
The Straight Story
Spy Kids
Big Fat Liar
Signs
Secondhand Lions
Cast Away
Smoke Signals
The Princess Diaries
The Rookie
Agent Cody Banks
Remember the Titans
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
**Lord of the Rings Trilogy (violence)
Spiderman
**Holes
Seabiscuit
**The Emperor's Club
Tuck Everlasting
Matchstick Men (some offensive language)
Radio
**Big Fish
Miracle of the Cards
Peter Pan
Master and Commander
**Freaky Friday
**Hidalgo
The Princess Diaries 2
Catch That Kid
**Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Miracle
Ella Enchanted
Conspiracy Theory(violence, some offensive language)
The Other Side of Heaven (some language)
The Day After Tomorrow
Spiderman 2
**The Terminal (some offensive language)
A Cinderella Story
Shall We Dance? (some offensive language)
Raise Your Voice
Love Comes Softly
**Raising Helen
Napoleon Dynamite
The Home Teachers
Mickey (a John Grisham family film)
The Forgotten (some offensive language)
Time Line (violence, some offensive language)
Cheaper by the Dozen
Touching Wild Horses
**Baptists At Our Barbeque
The R.M.
Straight From The Heart (Hallmark)
**The Village (scarey situations)
First Daughter
Charly
Children on Their Birthdays
**National Treasure
Bob The Butler
Mad Hot Ballroom Dancing
Finding Neverland
Guess Who? (some language)
Sky High
Spellbound
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Millions
**Flight Plan
Ladies In Lavender
School of Life
The Gospel
**Just Like Heaven (some language)
**The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (offensive language)
Yours, Mine and Ours
Good-night and Good Luck
The Narnia Chronicles
Nanny McPhee
**Pride and Prejudice
**The Greatest Game Ever Played
Eight Below

***

Friday, July 30, 2004

Another Fairy Day

Today is a Fairy Day.

What's that, you ask? A fairy day is one where I'm free to go flitting about wherever I please. Well, anywhere within an enchanted 15-mile radius. I can walk to the Farmer's Market while admiring Victorian and Craftsman houses on either side of sycamore-lined streets. And perhaps the cheerful vendors will sell me purple violas which I'll plant in my fairy garden (so-called because only the little people tend it, not I).

Maybe I'll drive to Salvation Army to paw through dusty books of a different century and find a perfect gift for my friend who loves old stories best. Then I could pick up lunch at a drive-through window, take it to the sleepy blue river and munch and read the hour away. The kite fliers may be there today with their crazy twisting kites intermingling with sea gulls. Who knows?

Or I could stay home and putter amongst our whimsical belongings. Turn my drawers into funky treasure chests for those who will buy or inherit my things when I am gone. Maybe I'll even paint a room (or at least a wall). I could bake a cake or wash dishes while dreaming of fairy days gone by. And if I take a break, maybe I can fill it with a rerun of The Andy Griffith Show and watch my hero, Aunt Bea.

Or I can wander out to my little bird sanctuary backyard and rest upon the old wooden chair next to lemon balm stems and breathe-in deeply the wafts of mint and roses. If I can sit still enough, perhaps the yellow finches will come and share a snack at the cherub bird feeder.

And if I should realize there's no food in the house for dinner, I can drive down to the big, exotic supermarket and peek into the lobster tanks after I make my way through the cappucino bar and the foreign-flavored produce section. If I chat with a troubled checker while she bags my groceries, I can tell her I'll pray for her (as I did last week). And then I'll return home, make dinner to share with my husband and wait for the fireflies to dance.

I have many fairy days because I am a homemaker. One of the few, one of the free.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Marys of This World

Jesus was visiting in the home of Lazurus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. Mary sat, enthralled, at the feet of Jesus, listening to every one of His God-inspired words. Martha, though, was out in the kitchen preparing the meal, and more than likely, giving Mary dirty looks. How could Mary be so unconcerned? So apathetic?

And yes, Jesus saw this childish interplay. Did He say, "Martha, congrats on being such a hard worker. Mary, get in there and do as Martha is doing!"? No, He said, "Martha, Martha...you are worried about many things. But Mary has chosen the better thing."

Mary understood 'timing' as it's described in Ecclesiastes 3. She realized dinner could wait, because Jesus had chosen to speak *now* instead of waiting until after the meal. (Ok, that's not always the case, but that was the case then.) Mary understood that. Martha did not.

So what happens these thousands of years later to the Mary's? They choose the better thing as Jesus instructed and in our 'enlightened age' they still receive the dirty looks. They hear the "head in the sand" comments. The "non-thinker, ignorant Christian' insults. Mary is still accused of being lazy and a 'non-worker.'

And at first it hurts. But only at first. Soon the Mary's realize they are the ones with incredible peace. The joy unspeakable and full of glory. The Mary's love their life, each day of it, because Jesus is the center of that life, in reality, not just in platitudes. They wait for Him, as a baby robin waits with an open mouth, ready to receive its mother's bread crumbs. Remarkably, they even believe that since the Bible reflects God, He was big enough, powerful enough to make sure it would represent Him correctly~~with no mistakes. There was too much at risk to allow errors.

And because Mary's are fulfilled by Jesus, they don't race around in the same circles as everyone else. They don't need a high-powered career or a big house or a new car to be happy, fulfilled or powerful. No, Jesus is enough.

But who understands that, other than fellow Mary's? Who will listen to their explanations of their contentment other than those with open, seeking hearts?

And I guess that's why it appears that Mary's are in their own little worlds. Because they are.