23 Blast (2014)

23 Blast Movie PosterDylan Baker is known for his various roles in television and film. Namely, his role as Colin Sweeney in The Good Wife. Most recently he was J. Edgar Hoover in the film Selma. Many will remember him from other films like Anchorman 2, Secretariat, Spider-man 2 and 3, as well as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Baker has added director to his IMDB list of achievements with 23 Blast. In the film, Baker also fills the role of Larry Freeman, the father of Travis Freeman whose real-life story Baker brings to the screen. Travis (Mark Hapka) is the high school football star who keeps up his grades and helps his mom, Mary (Kim Zimmer) keep the concession stand stocked.

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Sunday Reads: 1/25/15

Here are five blog posts I found this week that I thought were worth pondering. Take a look, tell me what you think. Happy pondering!

Sunday Reads

An Open Letter to Pastor’s About Children’s Ministry: Though I think the whole open letter idea has become a fad, this post has excellent suggestions for churches looking to become more vital. Mainly, don’t forget the children.

I Co-Founded One of the Most Popular Christian Rock Bands Ever… and I’m Now An Atheist: George Perdikis, one of the co-founders of the band Newsboys writes about his faith and his journey.

When Churches withhold tithes, they only hurt themselves: Some of the biggest news in United Methodism this past week was a large church in North Georgia withholding its apportionments because it disagrees with the Council of Bishops. Jeremy Smith, over at Hacking Christianity, writes about their decision and why he thinks they are only hurting themselves.

The Poverty of Language: United Methodist minister Matt Lipan reflects on the language we use in the church, and how we struggle to find meaning with so many words we use so often.

My Friend, Marcus Borg: The theologian, Jesus historian, and professor Marcus Borg passed this week. Barkley Thompson shares about his experiences with the professor and what can be called a friendship.

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Called to Include

The smell of Central American coffee was rich in the air.  The roar of the blenders making smoothies filled the small coffee shop.  High school students were slowly gathering in for their Thursday night ritual of coffee, cookies, smoothies, and Jesus.  Andrew had been working as the youth minister at a small mainline Protestant church for a number of years.  This small group of high school students had just started meeting at a local coffee shop recently.  The owners of the shop had graciously allowed Andrew’s students to meet in the back of the coffee shop where sofas had been set up.

The high school students were scattered on the sofas, some were on the floor, and others had pulled chairs over.  Then, Mike walked in.  Mike was a freshman in high school.  Middle school had not been good to him.  He had been picked on, teased, bullied, beat up, face stuffed in lockers.  You name it, it most likely happened to Mike.  Mike was a tall and skinny guy, but he walked slummed over as if an old man beaten down by age.  He found a space on one of the sofas, and slouched down into the sofa with his long legs extending higher into the air than his head.

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Big Eyes (2014)

© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

Margaret Keane, the painter famously known for the big, oversized doe-like eyes of her subjects, is the subject of the new film, Big Eyes. Tim Burton, a Keane collector, directs Amy Adams as Margaret Keane, with the script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewksi (who collaborated with Burton on Ed Wood) tells this real-life story of truth buried under years of lies and deception.

After relocating to San Francisco, Margaret attempts to make a living as an artist. But, in the 1950’s San Francisco, she finds that it is difficult for a divorced, single-mother like herself to get a job, much less make it as an artist. Then, in a moment of serendipity, she meets Walter Keane as portrayed by Christoph Waltz.

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5 New VeggieTales in the House

On January 30, five new VeggieTales in the House episodes will come to Netflix. The episodes continue sharing important lessons, affirmations of faith, new songs, and new characters! Including the first meat character, Bacon Bill. Favorites returning include LarryBoy, the famous Veggie hero and his nemesis, Motato. Here is a quick preview.


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Giveaway: 23 Blast DVD

23 Blast Movie PosterThanks to Flyby Promotions, you have a chance to win the DVD of the film 23 Blast.

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The Sound and the Fury (2014)

“It’s not an easy book to read; not an easy film to make.” -Lee Caplin, producer

Sound and Fury posterBased on William Faulkner’s novel of the same title, the film tells the story of the Compson family, Some would argue that the James Franco directed film is not easy to watch. But as Franco has done with other classic pieces of southern literature (As I Lay Dying and Child of God for example) he stays faithful to the novel. Franco’s storytelling follows the model of the deconstructed, non-linear, stream-of-consciousness style that seems to ooze from Faulkner’s writing.

Franco has stated that Faulkner pushes him as a filmmaker. Franco would also say that he approached the film and the character of Benjy by going to the book.

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Sunday Reads: 1/18/15

Here are five blog posts I found interesting this week and worth pondering.

Sunday Reads

You Won’t Remember, But I Will: Blogger Jessica Dimas shares in the form of a letter to her newborn all the memories she will always remember.

 Why a Humbled ‘Glee’ is a ‘Glee’ Worth Watching: I haven’t watched ‘Glee’ in a couple of years, but Entertainment Weekly’s post about the return of the show for its final season has made me curious.

Jack’s New Baby Sister: Beth Richardson has a blog from the perspective of her dog, Jack. In this post, Jack shares about a new sister (another dog) coming home.

Now I Understand – A Visit to the Civil Rights Museum: Josh Kelley guest blogs for Jayson D. Bradley about a trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis with this family. Originally from Los Angeles, Josh expresses how the visit to the museum shaped his understanding of race issues in this country.

Why I Am a United Methodist: Gabe Horton blogs at UMC Lead about why he is a United Methodist, despite some of the challenges the denomination faces with getting along with one another. Gabe highlights many of the struggles with denominationalism that many young people face, and raises the questions that so many of us have been pondering.

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Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods posterDisney brings the popular Broadway musical to the big screen doing very little harm to the story. Into the Woods is a mash-up of popular fairy tales, almost all of which have been animated features made by Disney. From the opening musical number, we learn that each character is wishing for something more. They are barely satisfied with the life they have.

They wish for more.

If you’re not familiar with the story, the plot centers around the Baker and his wife, wonderfully played by James Corden and Emily Blunt. The couple has sadly not been able to have a baby, the one thing they wish for the most in life. The Witch (Meryl Streep), who happens to live next door, explains that she is the cause of their infertility. It seems that in retaliation for something the Baker’s father did to her, she cursed the couple. She is, however, willing to reverse the curse if they collect four objects in three days:

‘The cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold.’

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Your Little Hands

when i hold your little hands in mine

i can’t help but wonder what your hands will hold

will your hands give food to the hungry?

will they raise up in protest of discrimination and racism?

will they hold a book into the wee hours of the morning?

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