Life as an Episode of Touch, Part III

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Sometimes small events in life happen that turn seemingly unconnected events into a noticeable thread or pattern; so it seems to be with my recent travel on metal birds in the sky (or airplanes if you prefer).  I’ve previously written on how sometimes my life seems to be like an episode of the FOX TV show Touch.  It’s a show everyone should watch, as it effectively tackles the nebulous idea of destiny in the small and “insignificant” happenings in life.  This trend that I have noticed keeps happening.

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Burn II: The Notice Strikes back!

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A few weeks ago I wrote about a practice in the show Burn Notice called “sliding cards”.  Sliding cards – I was told – is the technical term for the name and description of characters that often appears on screen in Burn Notice.  This facet of the show often causes me to wonder what my description would be and led me to blog on it.  That post prompted a discussion with one of my good friends where he essentially asked “What would Jesus put there?”

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Death Stars and X-wings: When God doesn’t speak in Hollywood Special Effects

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The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  1 Kings 19:11-13

When I attended the Quitter Conference a few weeks ago I came with a secret ambition, a hidden desire known only to a few people, something that I wanted to see happen, something I thought I needed to have happen.  I came into the Quitter conference with high expectations because I was doing something new, stepping out into the unknown.  I wanted, I (thought) needed a “Death Star scaled” epiphany.  I wanted something big to happen; some sort of connection, meeting, telling my story to the right person at the Quitter conference…the right puzzle piece in the right place so that my dream could be taken to the next level and I’d have a direction to pursue in a new way since I will be losing my current job soon.    That didn’t happen.

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The Dark Knight Has Risen: A Trilogy’s Fitting Finale

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It’s rare that I can go see a film I am really looking forward to, watch it, and then write about it; but I seem to be doing it more and more. I generally have to go see such a film more than once, and sometimes, more than twice.  I’ve got a lot of respect for folks like John Nolte, John Hanlon, and Christian Toto at Big Hollywood for their skill and ability to do what is a greater challenge for me.

How do you end a series of films like Nolan’s Batman, especially when there is such expectation because of the across-the-board excellence of the previous film?  You end it where it began, so the circle is complete.  That’s what Nolan did by bringing the League of Shadows (Assassins) back into the picture and tying the final film to the previous one via the character of Harvey Dent, whose presence is still largely felt in the consequences suffered by the characters, and to the first film by resurrecting the League.

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When 30 Weeks Became 30 Years: Creating Margin in Life

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A few months ago I turned 30.  Conventional wisdom tends to spout that reaching such a milestone is something important, something to be celebrated.  I took the day off to wait for the cable guys to visit me and set up cable in my apartment.  On that day thirty years prior, I was born at 30 weeks development.  While the irony and relative gravity of this realization got through to me I didn’t give it much thought until a few months after when visiting with my friend Andy Piscotti.

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After Quitter: Mind what you’ve learned, help you it can…

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Two weeks ago I jumped on two flights to travel down to Nashville, TN to spend 36+ hours in a new city to attend the Quitter Conference.  The Quitter Conference is a conference hosted by Jon Acuff, the author of the book Quitter and a member of the Dave Ramsey team at Lampo Press.  It’s 36 hours of Acuff and friends extrapolating principles from his book and expounding on them; finding passion, chasing dreams, and then some of the practical ways to do that (not to mention obstacles that need to be overcome).  It’s a chance to hear from a pervayor of wisdom like Al Andrews – the Kenobi to Acuff’s Skywalker – and dream chasing success stories like Jeff Goins, Matt Chambers, and Ali Worthington. Additionally, the band Seryn played a show for the attendees; the band reminds me a lot of Madison Greene, which is a great thing, but Seryn is a bit less tribal sounding.

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The Grimm Reality of an Unseen War

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Imagine a world where a police detective solves murders committed by monsters from fairy-tales, but only he can see them, only he knows what they really are.  To the rest of the world they’re shopkeepers, lawyers, factory workers and the like.  Welcome to the world of Nick Burkhardt a police detective in Seattle who also happens to learn he is a Grimm; an individual of special bloodline and ability who can see these fairy-tale baddies in their true form and not the illusion seen by the average human.  Now in it’s second season, Grimm is an interesting blend of the police procedural and fantasy genres of television.  As the first season starts, Burkhardt learns who he is and begins to wrestle with this revelation in relation to both work and home life.  As the season progresses he becomes a central target in a centuries-old shadow war between factions with a presence in Europe and the United States.  A war few even know is raging, much less comprehend it’s global implications, wherein nothing is what it seems and heroes are really villains and vice-versa.  As with most shows, while each episode is in a way self contained – some are not – there is an over-arching plot (much like Smallville, Doctor Who, Warehouse 13, Once Upon A Time, and many others).

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Pain, Perserverence, Passion, and Purpose: My Journey as a Sermon Illustration

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While I was in New York City this weekend with my family, the story of my journey was featured as part of the “One Another” sermon series at National Community Church.  The sermon focused on the “one another” from Hebrews 10:24 – “Spur one another on…”  Believe it or not, I was glad to be away this weekend, as I feel that the Father “got me out of the way” so He could do as He wished with my story, taking care to ensure I could in no way be an impediment or distraction that might take away from what He intended.  In a phrase, I think He became more and I became less; He increased and I decreased.  I can only hope that the story spurred others on…to love, to good deeds, to dream, to pursue, to encourage, to be agents of renewal, to do, and to inspire.

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What comes under your name?

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One of my favorite shows in TV is a show called Burn Notice on USA Network.  It follows the adventures of a former spy (Jeffery Donovan) who once worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before he gets “burned” (blacklisted) by them.  He gets dumped in Miami, Florida and begins a journey to uncover who it was that had it in for him.  However, he’s not alone in this as his former girlfriend (Gabrielle Anwar), an old friend and ex-Navy Seal (Bruce Campbell), and his Mom (Sharon Glass), are part of his world again and get caught up in the situations he finds himself as he takes jobs to help those down on their luck.  Yes, it helps that Bruce Campbell is in it and plays himself wearing a Hawaiian shirt and drinking mojitos, and that I happen to know the guy who edits the show (the great Zack Arnold), but – those things aside – it’s just a fun show about a guy trying to do right by the world as he clears his name.

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Be a Hero, not a Dwarf

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I’d imagine that many across the United States may be taking time this Fall to re-read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien because part one of the silver-screen adaptation releases this December.  I’ll be the first to say I’ve already done that with a long standing reading group in Washington, DC – associated with National Community Church – called The Inklings.  Our group is named after the reading group that both Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were involved in that met at a pub in Oxford, England and previously we’ve joked about putting a “2.0” or “Reloaded” after it.  *Insert lame reference to The Matrix Trilogy here*

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