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Showing posts from December, 2014

Unbroken

Warning: there may be spoilers here, depending on how you define "spoiler." The movie opens December 25, but the book has been out for several years. I will not divulge any secrets of the movie (there really aren't any), but I will highlight important differences from the Laura Hillenbrand book, as well as overall impressions of the film.

Another note: sometimes at advance screenings viewers are forbidden to post their reactions before the release date. Aside from "keep your mobile phone in your pocket," no such admonitions were given.



The other night I was invited to attend a special screening for the new Angelina Jolie directed film Unbroken(I also learned from the end credits that Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script, with others-- this was a surprise. I am huge fans of those guys). Let me say from the beginning this is one of the best books I have ever written-- I know that is a cliche, but here it is true. It is a thrilling, nearly unbelievable true story o…

Join the Conspiracy!

(I'm a week late in posting this, but here you go.)

True story: several years ago when I served at a church in Duncanville, I visited a family in their home for a funeral visit. In the middle of the summer, a Christmas tree graced the living room. It was this family's practice to never take their tree down. The son of this couple met a young woman, and was going to her parents' home for the first time. She warned him: "You might think this is weird, but my parents keep their Christmas tree up all year long." "Mine too!", he thought. You knew the relationship was off to a good start!

Admit it: you love Christmas that much too. Maybe not enough to keep your tree up or lights on year round, but you dig the holiday. So do I. To get us in the spirit of things, let's count down our favorite Christmas cliches:

1. It's too commercial. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $600 billion this holiday season. FYI, that more than

A Remembrance of John Oestmann

Note: this sermon was shared at the funeral for John Oestmann today. I offer it here for those unable to attend the service, but also for anyone who has struggled with an untimely loss of a loved one. 
I first met John Oestmann when I became the pastor at Prosper United Methodist eight years ago. And did this guy make an impression! It isn’t often that I am made to feel small around others—but John was a giant in every way you can imagine. People always say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, that was never truer than when one considers our husband, father, brother, son, and friend, John. Many of us might have crossed the street when we saw this large, tattooed, sometimes Mohawked man approaching us. And if we did cross that road, we would miss out on knowing one of the best, most genuine, most dependable men we would ever meet. But the lasting impression John gave had little to do with his appearance and everything to do with the way he lived his life. One of my favorite lines f…