Monday, January 31, 2011

More updates on The Eagle

Two new, locked-in, it appears, clips on the site. No new photos, but there is an in-depth look at the Roman armor of the day which I found very, very interesting. To read the whole thing, click here.

Here's the first clip, of Marcus and his uncle talking while Esca looks on stoically.




And second, which actually took place before the first clip, of Marcus in battle with the British. For the people who have read the book: This is the scene where he gets injured permanently, but the clip ends right before that happens. (Note: it's not bloody, but don't let any little ones watch this one.)




Also.....

Look at this!





I got tickets to The Eagle! I got tickets to The Eagle! Hee hee! I'm taking my mom on the night it comes out. Whooppeee! *throws hat into the air*



Plus, I broke my $50 bill.


:P

Anything exciting coming up for you??

For all the wonderful geeks out there...

Here's a brilliant TRON: Legacy/Star Wars trailer mash-up. I found it through imdb.com, who had a link from www.nextmovie.com, who got it courtesy of the L.A. Times (www.herocomplex.latimes.com).

*is dizzy now*

^ I am not endorsing any sites above, per se. Merely noting where I got the video. :)

It's a seriously genius video, taking the audio from the TRON: Legacy trailer and fitting Star Wars shots to it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Sword of Lyric, books 1 & 2

This is a post that is seriously overdue.

I picked up Sharon Hinck's The Restorer earlier this month. And then I couldn't put it down.

Oh. My. Goodness. The Restorer is one of the most amazing books I've ever read.

It's about a mom named Susan who accidentally steps through a portal in her attic. From there, everything is mayhem. Susan discovers God has something for her to do in this other world, but she's not sure she can fill the role set for her. Along the way there are mind poisoners, syncbeams, and sword fights galore, all held together by strikingly real characters and a totally believable world.

That was one of the things that amazed me. Every single character, no matter how large or small their role, lived and breathed. And when Susan enters the other world through the portal, I was there, too. The world that the People of the Verses and Hazorites and Rhuscians inhabit is, curiously enough, a flawless blend of science fiction syncbeams and lekhans, and medieval swords and kings and clans. it might take a chapter or two to get used to, but it's completely believable, and a world I would love to visit.

I fell in love with Susan, Mark, Kieran, Tristan, Kendra, Nolan... everyone. Except for the bad guys. They were bad. Villainous! And just as real as the protagonists. They were all so realistic and well done, I felt that I was reading about real people who really existed. Mrs. Hinck, you have my undying respect.

The story itself is gripping beyond words. Like I said, I couldn't put it down, often reading into the very *cough* late hours of the night to finished another chapter or five. You could hardly call it predictable; there were so many twists and turns and unexpected occurrences, and they keep the reader on their toes. Well, I guess that's an understatement, actually.

The Restorer is an incredibly unique, and I say that with admiration and high regard, book for it's genre. Especially because it's written in first person. As far as my knowledge goes, that's not something commonly done in the fantasy fiction arena. But Mrs. Hinck  brilliantly pulled it off. And it made the connection to the characters stronger than the emphasis on the world, which I felt was beneficial.

A lot of fantasy authors, myself included, try and try to make the world we're creating realistic and believable. And personally, I have a feeling we're working too hard. In The Restorer, the world Susan was thrust into was just as real as our own, but it did not jump up and down, waving and shouting, "Look at me! I'm so realistic! Look at these great world-building skills!" Rather, it was just there, and the reader accepted it and believed in it. Once again, I bow to you, Mrs. Hinck.

What's also very real is Susan's struggles with her faith. Her spiritual journey was absolutely genuine, and it touched my heart. I love that the People of the Verses' relationship with the One is so strongly connected with words, and songs. I personally think that words are very powerful things (Hey, if God can speak the universe into existence, then words are not something to be trifled with.) and seeing the People of the Verses sing their songs to the One and speak His truths to heal others made my heart swell.

And the ending.... wow! I won't spoil anything, but let's just say I was incredibly grateful for the sneak peek of the next book at the back, not to mention my impatience to get the next book. Which leads me to talking about Book Two....


Here I chuckle fondly. If I thought that the first book was amazing beyond belief, which I did... well, let's just say The Restorer's Son surpassed all conceivable expectations. I have a feeling I'm going to die of overexposure to pure awesomeness before the series is finished......

But I digress.

As stated, this sequel to The Restorer is incredible. This time around, the narrative is shared between Kieran and Susan; Kieran has been thrust, with much protest, into the role of Restorer, and Susan and her husband have returned to the world through the portal in search of their son, Jake.

Again, the narrating characters' personal struggles with their faith draw you in and are just as real as your own wrestlings with our God. Kieran's deal with the One particularly tickled me, and I was holding my breath in excitement and anticipation the whole time. Susan and Mark have to run to the One as they search for Jake. And again, the antagonists from the previous book step in and make life difficult for all involved.

Once again, sword fights and syncbeams and scramblers and Rhuscians are scattered all throughout the story, not to mention the dry, absolutely hilarious humor from Kieran, and touching, amusing clashes of personalities all around.

It does get pretty intense in some places; but from child sacrifices to unplanned pregnancies,  Mrs. Hinck handles everything artfully and gets much across without being icky in any way. (As a warning for any younger readers: the land of Hazor really is similar to the enemies of the children of Israel, who practiced evil and ungodly things, such as the sacrificing of children. In the encounters with the land of Hazor in the book, it gets a little intense, possibly even dark, but I promise, the One is victorious in the end!)

The other thing that was hilarious, occurring in both books, was this: the people from our world mention things like soccer and cars and things common to our world, and completely lose the people like Kieran and Tristan from the other world, whose world is completely different in some respects. There were definitely some tickling circumstances.

In some parts, The Restorer's Son left me speechless, other places left me breathless from cheering. By far, this book (along with it's predecessor) is one of my favorites, and one I will always hold dear to my heart.

Hee hee. Book Three, here I come!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Author Interview: Amanda Bradburn

Heyo all! I'm back.... with something really, really neat. Somewhat-newly-published author Amanda Bradburn has been gracious enough to let me interview her! Woot! (Thanks Amanda!)

Ms. Bradburn is the author of The Keepers of Elenath, and she just finished the manuscript for the second book in the series, The Phantom Assassin.
Anyway, here goes!


What first inspired you to start writing?

 This question brings back funny memories, actually. I began writing with a few friends when I was about seven years old. That eventually died about a year later, but the love of creating never left me. My cousin had introduced me to a series of books that my mother did not approve, and I liked them so well that I decided I would write my own. Not long thereafter, in 2001, The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out and I fell in love with fantasy. :)




How long have you been writing?

About 13 years, off and on. I began The Keepers of Elenath when I was fourteen. Wow! That was five years ago. :P


What are your top favorite books to date?

Bryan Davis's Raising Dragons and Wayne Thomas Batson's The Door Within are definitely up there. I don't like horror at ALL, but Ted Dekker's Blink (also called In the Blink of an Eye) was very well done. 


Are there any authors in particular whose writing inspired you, or that you learned from?

Well, that's a hard one. I've read so many . . . . I love Tolkien and Lewis, like many fantasy fanatics do, and recently, I also discovered that I like Gail Carson Levine and Julie Berry. My cousin and my best friend are inspiring too, even if they're not published yet.


I know everyone must ask you this, but how does your faith affect your writing? 

Faith gives life purpose and hope, which are its goals in writing, too. Often, Christian books are just preachy. They slam information down the reader's throat and don't even make it interesting. Faith in a book should be prominent and easy enough not to need an "oh yeah, I better put this in here since I'm a Christian" page. It's a lifestyle.


Do you think that the eating of ice cream assists the creative writing process? 

I think that eating assists the creative writing process. (But don't try eating Cheetos. They get orange all over the keyboard. lol)


Your thoughts on sleep.

Sleep? Writing three books, editing one, attending college full time, surviving as kitchen boss at school, teaching at church, playing violin and singing in choir? What is this sleep you speak of?


Are you a books-only person, or do you enjoy watching movies as well?

I can multitask when I watch movies. I write my own book and watch at the same time, so I love movies. There is, though, something in books that only paper and ink can accomplish. I love both. :)

Could you give us a synopsis of your book, "The Keepers of Elenath?"

You know, even after more than a year of my book being out, I still can't really answer that question very well? The Keepers of Elenath has a synopsis twelve pages long. :P The story begins with a mysterious young man remembering something that happened to him many years before, and then catapults you unashamedly right into the center of the action. Gwaeron, the princess, is a spy and is trying to secure some last minute details before she flees her beloved city. A dark terror marches (or flies) on her brother, Prince Enduan's army, her aid is shot and dying, and in another corner of the world, evil is drawing near to the one thing that could end their world forever. Will any of them make it alive?



If you had one thing to say to writers who are trapped in the revision stage, what would it be?

 Stop. That's my advice. Just stop. The more you revise, the more you'll hate it. Shut the computer off, put the notebook away, and leave it. I leave my books for months before I go back. Take a break from your writing and let it become new again in your mind. And really, it all depends on what your goal for your book is. Publication, or not? Aesop said that familiarity breeds contempt. With your own works, at least in my case, that is definitely true.


What is your favorite genre to write? And while we're at it, what genres do you enjoy reading?

 I love fantasy. I also love fairy tale, though that's sometimes considered fantasy. I love reading fantasy, mystery, action, and suspense. Every once and a while when I'm really bored I'll crack open a romance. As a general rule, I don't read them much.


Are there any books no one would expect you to like, but you do?

Hmm...more often than not, it's books that I would expect to like and don't. But I liked Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot, which is . . . romance. lol





Wow! Thanks again, Ms. Bradburn!

Millard also did an interview with her a while back. If you want to check it out, click here

And also, Ms. Bradburn has a site for her book, soon to be books, so please, check that out too!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

TRON: Legacy Review

Warning: there is a possibility of spoilers in this review.

First off: I have not seen the original Tron. However, I really, really liked this one.

Summary:
Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), a rebellious 27-year-old, is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his father Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a man once known as the world's leading video-game developer. When Sam investigates a strange signal sent from the old Flynn's Arcade -- a signal that could only come from his father-- he finds himself pulled into a digital world where Kevin has been trapped for 20 years. With the help of the fearless warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde), father and son embark on a life-or-death journey across a cyber universe -- a universe created by Kevin himself that has become far more advanced with vehicles, weapons, landscapes and a ruthless villain who will stop at nothing to prevent their escape. 
(Summary by Walt Disney Pictures)





If you love action or sci-fi films, then I highly recommend you see Tron: Legacy. It's jam-packed with crazy fight scenes and chase sequences, and The Grid is an absolutely amazing and totally realistic computer world.

I have to say, I liked this movie a lot more than I thought would. Having seen the trailers ahead of time, I expected good effects and cheesy acting. While the CGI lived up to my expectations, the acting surpassed them. If the worry of cheesy acting is holding you back from watching this movie, allow me to assure you- while not the greatest acting in the world, there were barely any cheesy moments. (There are a couple, though, I will admit.) The actors obviously threw themselves into the roles wholeheartedly, and it shows.

The story is more of a character-driven one than one with an obvious plot, which keeps you on your toes for sure, but it's paced well, and it's a pretty easy story to follow (unlike other action films where the characters are running around doing supposedly meaningful things while the audience sits there scratching their heads). The music, also, was superb, and fitted the film perfectly.

The other great thing was that there was no inappropriate romance to speak of. No kisses, no innuendo, nothing. In the last scene, Sam is riding his motorcycle with Quorra holding on behind him, but I don't think that counts as romance.


The few objectionable things:

Kevin does mention Zen once or twice, which is, obviously, unbiblical, but it's not discussed in depth, merely in one or two brief sentences.

Shortly after Sam enters The Grid, his clothes are removed and he is dressed as a program. This is the one scene that was close to being extremely awkward, but thankfully it's brief. There is no nudity, though you do see Sam's bare torso for a moment.
(He also changes shirts in an earlier scene, but it's to reveal the bruises on his back from a run-in with the police.)

The violence, while neither bloody or gory in any way (the programs disintegrate into a bunch of little microchips when "killed."), the action does get pretty intense, most likely too intense for younger children.
(There is one brief shot that shows a few drops of Sam's blood fall to the ground, which identifies him as a user. It's the only blood in the whole film.)
There are plenty of explosions and disintegrating programs throughout.

Also, Sam uses the d-word and the h-word a couple times.

The wackiest character in the movie, a program called Zuse, may bug certain people, but he wasn't icky. Just... strange.

(Oh, and despite the title, Tron himself has almost nothing to do with the film. He makes a few appearances, but overall he wasn't exactly crucial to the plot.)



There is one more thing I have to say: while I'm more anti-3D than a supporter of it, I saw Tron in 3D... and I highly recommend it. The effects are neither dizzying nor of the in-your-face kind. Rather, watching it in 3D artfully enhances the film, and honestly, I really enjoyed myself. If there's one movie that's out right now that you should see in 3D, it's this one.



While there isn't any particular moral theme, it's entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. I, personally, wouldn't mind seeing it again.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Matters of Skateboarding and Trust

Odd title, don't you think?

Yeah... me too.

This one word has been tumbling around my head lately.


Trust.

Deep word, you know.

I struggle with it. Always have.

My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6.


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."


Slowly, ever so slowly, I begin to understand, and live out, this verse.

Like I said, trust has always been a difficult thing for me to do.

My flesh really likes to "lean on my own understanding." I think I can run my own show. I don't like the thought of having someone else run my show for me. That means I'd have to trust them! And that, of course, I can't do.

My walk with the Lord has always been a bit of struggle. I find it incredibly hard just to put my trust in Him and let Him chart my course. "Jesus Take the Wheel" is not exactly my anthem. (Love the song, though.) I try and tell Him what to do, or else I just ignore Him and do my own thing. I've lacked the trust (or the strength to muster up enough) to surrender to Him.


Of course, this is where we get onto the other subject... skateboarding.

As most of you know, I got a skateboard for my birthday.

I had only ridden for real once before, at a Young Life resort's indoor skate park in September. That mainly involved me going down a ramp, falling on my backside, getting up, going down the ramp, falling down again, getting up and doing it all over 20 million more times. (It was my very very first time on a board, alright?)

For some reason, that event made me want to keep riding. I'd borrowed my little brother's 25-dollar cheapie board for a little bit, but the wheels were super ratty, so it didn't even go anywhere unless you pumped like mad. And even then it would only scoot about an inch and a half and stop. As you can imagine, that didn't really get me anywhere.

My birthday present rides like a dream. It's a really, really nice board, as far as I'm concerned.

Learning to ride it has been a thought-provoking adventure, though.

Skateboarding is not really a matter of balance the way it is with a bike. But particularly, it's the speed that was the hard thing for me to get.

It seems easy to just pump once and scoot down the street. If I started to lose speed, I'd pump gently again, and I keep gliding at an easy, unexciting pace.

But that's not what skateboard was meant to do. A skateboard is meant for speed. Pure, exhilarating speed.

As I've gotten better and more confident at boarding, I've found the courage to pump twice. Three times. Four times.

It's pretty darn fast, let me tell you. When you pump, (at least for me) you get this feeling that the board's gonna slip out from under you. You get this adrenaline rush, and if you pump once or twice more, suddenly I can hear my board singing. It's like you're flying.

I love it.

But to fly, to go fast, I had to step out of my comfort zone. I had to trust that the board would still be under my foot if I pumped one more time.

And of course, it always was. And you know what? Going fast was way, ways easier than just scooting around. It's what you're supposed to do, after all.


I think skateboarders have a special connection to their board. I know I do. You get on the thing, and it's just you and board in the whole world. You have to work together, and the connection gets stronger the more you board. I'm sure people who love certain sports, like bikers and skiers and swimmers even, all have that same sort of connection with their sport.

That connection between me and my board grew stronger the faster and longer I rode. When I suddenly felt a surge of speed, I wanted to scream and cheer, it was so amazing. It's definitely like your board becomes part of you.

And here's the thing I realized, several days ago.


I trust my board. 

Like, in the way I don't trust. While I am still half in control, I have to release a little bit of that control and let my board do what it's meant to do. 

And I'm willing to trust my board almost with a sense of reckless abandonment. I'm willing to go faster and faster, and harder and harder, knowing it'll still hold me and it won't go sliding out from under me.

And then came the harsh reality:

I'm willing to trust a piece of wood with wheels more than the God who spoke the universe into being.

Ouch.

Yeah.

I knew that wasn't okay. That's not how it's supposed to be!

But no matter how I seemingly tried, I found myself unable to trust my Lord.

It had made me really moody and in a flux of an emotional state the past few days. Actually, I've been like that over the last several months, anyway. This just heightened it. 

I hadn't felt like I've been in a good place spiritually. I hadn't been reading my Bible much. I got moody and grouchy easy. When I prayed, I felt like it was a waste of time and energy. 

Sometimes, I would have a good, cheerful day, or have an aha moment, and then I would brighten up and think that everything was going to get better. My spiritual "depression," if you will, would pass. The gray skies oppressing my mind would lift.

But no... then after a few days, something would happen, maybe I would get grumpy or have a bad Algebra day, I don't know, but something would happen to stick me back in a place where I would shove the Word aside and have a nice, happy grump-fest. Along with a bonus, perpetual case of teenage schlumpiness. 

And after a while of this cycle of thinking things would get better spiritually only for them to go back to stagnant, lukewarmness, I'd started to get moody and despairing. 

I'd been reading lots of books, but not the Bible. I'd get excited over a lot of things, but not my God and the work He's doing. I've been focused on lots of things, but not eternity and the things that will matter. 

"Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."
Colossians 3:2

I hadn't been doing that. My thoughts had certainly been on books, movies, this, that, and everything else possible besides the Lord. 


"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Luke 12:35


The things I'd been valuing were not eternal things that will matter in the long run. 

I knew I'd been holding back my all from the Lord. But I was unwilling to surrender.

I have the head knowledge. I know all the right things, all the answers to every argument my flesh can make in protest to surrendering to my Lord. But those answers didn't bring a change of heart. I would just think up the answers, turn them around and around for a while in my head, and then feeling no change, would shrug it off and go back to Schluppy-Grumpy Abby.

I wasn't willing to do the hard thing and persevere: read my Bible when my mind is going off in rabbit trails. Determine each day to be joyful. Pray and talk with the Lord, even if I don't feel like He's answering. 

I wasn't willing to do that. I wanted to just sit back, live life, and wait for my fleshly self to magically change on it's own. 

Yeah... cause that works out real well.

A couple verses from the Newsboys' song Born Again came to mind:

Found myself looking into the mirror
Knew I wasn't who I wanted to be
I was living like the way that I wanted
But my eyes reminded me I'm not free


I knew that spiritually, I haven't been where I want to be... where I know I should be.  And I hadn't figured out what to do about it.

Actually.... I had known what to do about it. But metaphorically speaking, I'd been afraid to trust... to pump harder and faster. 


And that's the other thing.

I don't like change. (Especially the surprise kind.)

While at our church's midweek Bible study tonight, I realized I've been in this state of spiritual stagnant-ness for long enough, and that I was afraid to come out of it. 

That meant a change, you know. 

And changes aren't real easy for me. 

I knew that I oughtta be on fire and having a hunger for the Word, but to get back into that place required changes on all sorts of levels. I couldn't just go about my mediocre, hum-dee-dum lifestyle any longer if I determined to surrender my life to the Lord to be used for Him.

So as I was sitting against the wall near the back of the room, before the teaching started, I realized this... and finally determined to be determined and press on, press harder, and I prayed silently (I might have whispered it, but I can't remember), something along the lines of, "Lord, I'm really afraid to change, and I know I've been stubborn about it. But if you'll hold my hand, I'm willing to change my heart and my lifestyle. No... I'm wiling to let You change it. Will you please change it for me?"

I had to blink back tears as this sense of relief and release washed up over me. 

Not the perfect prayer, certainly. But the Lord knew my heart. He knew I was surrendering to Him. And I felt His love.

All along, He's been gracious to me. He wasn't waiting to do this:


"I find your lack of trust disturbing."


No, no... He was gracious and faithful the whole time I was a lost little sheep, gone astray a wee bit.


But I was finally sick of not being radical for Him.

I was finally sick of not being on fire for Him.

I was finally sick of just daydreaming and imagining and thinking, fooling myself into thinking I was alright.

I was finally willing to make what I knew to be true a reality in my life.


Bible study hadn't been so sweet in a long time. I lovingly jotted down notes. I cherished every word we read. I left there with a glow, a shine in my eyes, and a peaceful, overjoyed spirit.

And it wasn't me trying to do the right thing and make it look like I was doing good.

It was coming from my heart. 

Am I perfect now? Certainly. Not. Am I doing better? You don't know the half of it. Will I still make mistakes? You betcha.

But by re-surrendering and putting my trust in Him tonight, my heart changed. 

I was finally willing to trust, after many months of distrust and distance.

And boy, am I glad I did. Not to say I'm the perfect "truster" now, but I'm willing, and my heart is in the right place.

For me, trust doesn't come easy. But as the Lord has shown me through skateboarding, it'll be well worth it. 

After all... it's like flying. Or something even more amazing and beautiful. 





Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and lean not on your own understanding.

In all of your ways acknowledge Him,

and He will make your path's straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TV Spots Warrior & Conquer, Plus a Featurette!

Yes, my friends. More news on The Eagle.

Two new, awesome TV spots and a short featurette that's very cool. Enjoy!


I didn't like the music choice, but the footage is nuts.


This one was cooler...




And for some reason, this one stole my heart for almost 4 minutes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Five for Five Tag

Hey everybody! Sorry for my tardiness in posting! 


Well, anyway, the glorious Miss Pickwickian has tagged me, so.... here I am, posting about tagging, the tag, and tagging other wonderful people ;)


Here goes!


Things you have learned this year (2010).


(in no particular order)

1. The Lord is really good. 

2. My mom is really smart and it's normally a good idea to listen to her.

3. I don't have much endurance. I'm on a hunt to find some.

4. Coffee is the key to life.

5. Writing is a lot better/easier/productive when you just have to spew it out instead of agonizing over every sentence in the first draft.


Things you want to accomplish next year (2011). Again, in no particular order.

1. Know the Lord more deeply.

2. Make a minimum of two film shorts. 

3. Finish my novel.

4. Finish memorizing the Book of James.

5. Finish my screenplay adaption of a book. (Ssh....)



Things you've always wanted to do but have never done before.

1. Go to a premiere. A real one. 

2. Learn Hebrew or Welsh.

3. Watch a movie at it's midnight showing.

4. Draw more than one of my current novel's characters. (I can't draw people to save my life.... though I have drawn three successful portraits of different characters of mine, but only one of those are from my current book... did that make sense??)

5. Discover another world, maybe by walking through a wardrobe or attic portal or somethin'... hey, it's not that hard, right?



Things you see as important in life... no particular order.

1. Love.

2. Faith.

3. Coffee.

4. My relationship with the Lord.

5. My family.



Mishaps. Otherwise known as embarrassing (wonderful) moments that I get to laugh at.

1. Well... I haven't really done much recently (or in the past) that was too "embarrassing" that would make sense... so I'll throw in a couple "sweet" moments, etc. in this list. However, I did call my fourth grade teacher "Mom" twice... once nobody heard me, second time... just the girl across the table heard, We laughed. 

2. Whilst filming a science video (alone in the garage with a video camera... frightening.), I randomly (and without being funny on purpose) went into a hillbilly accent and waved my hand around the steam coming from the portable burner, exclaiming, "Whew! Risin' to high heaven, hooo-ee!"  
*headdesk* My mom and I never got over it since watching the recording several months ago...

3.  In second grade, I always had this thing about putting frosting on my nose (whenever we had cupcakes for someone's birthday or something.). Yeah. That's it. I would just always put a dab of frosting on my nose. Don't ask why.  (I find it extremely embarrassing now to find pictures of myself in that state. ;)

4. I dunno.... I've never liked roller coasters, and I was forced against my will persuaded to go on one a couple years ago at Legoland. I screamed my head off in pure terror the entire time. *palmface*

5. I asked my mom if there were assigned seats in college. For the record, I was half messing with her...


Yeah, well, that's that! ;)


Now meesa shall tag:


Everyone's Favorite Composer 
Nicole
Katie
Vrenith
and
Chloe-Jane




Thanks for reading, y'all ;) Lord bless!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Entertainment: What's Okay?

This was a question that was brought up by my dear friend Amaranthine Degada over at Amaranthine Forever. Ever since reading her post, I've been thinking,


What is okay for Christians to watch/read/hear? Where do we draw the line?


And being so plagued by these questions, and in need of answers, I ran the post by my dear mother.

My dear mother is very wise, you see. I am not the only being I know of who goes to her for advice/wisdom/general knowledge.

But enough about that...

She pointed out some very good Scriptures, and I was feeling very led to post about it. So I am. ;)


Firstly, keep this in mind:


"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable." 
(1 Corinthians 6:12)



All things are permissible... but not everything is profitable. Regardless of the ratings, etc., consider whether that movie, or this book, or those songs are profitable. Are they edifying? To they build up or tear down? Is there anything to profit from by reading/watching/listening this or that.

Now, the question of movies:

Is it okay for Christians to watch R rated movies? 

Here's the thing...

that's not really a yes or no question.

Not all R movies are bad. Some things are rated R for the maturity level. Think The Passion of the Christ or The Patriot. Good movies. But violent movies. Hence, the R. Other films are rated R for very good reasons and should not be watched, period.

So.... are they okay or not?

Well, the Bible does not say, "Thou shalt not watch movies of the rated R variety."

But it does say, 

"I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;"
(Psalm 101:3)


And this doesn't go for just R movies alone, but movies in general (and books too, for that matter); and even things with excessive violence or sensual content. Is what you're watching worthless? Is it pure entertainment, a waste of your time? Or are there redeeming qualities that make the watching worth those two hours?


What about cursing? Is it okay to watch movies (or listen to music) (or read books) with bad language?

Once again, there may be redeeming qualities in a movie with language. And if it's an historically accurate film, then that's just real life, and not language for the sake of language. And I have seen many good movies that have a little profanity in them. 

(On a side note: I find secular music to be a big, big stumbling block for me, and thus I don't listen to secular music at all with the exception of film scores... so music with swearing in it isn't even an issue for me. But anyway, I don't recommend songs that aren't clean.)

However, the Bible does say:

"But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth."
(Colossians 3:8)


Is what you're hearing a stumbling block for you? Is it causing you to sin? If so, it's probably not a good thing to listen to/watch/read. 




Like I said, this is an issue that does not have a yes or no answer. But for the believer, Christ leads us. He doesn't give us a list of do this' and don't do that's. Let the peace of God rule your heart. 


And when making choices in the tricky area of entertainment, just remember these verses:




"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
(Philippians 4:8)



"...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the  knowledge of God;"
(Colossians 1:10)