Movies, Ecclesiastes, and the Passage of Time

Saw these over at Cracked and wanted to share. Some of these make me feel so old!

(FYI – Crack tends to lean PG-13/R. Just consider that before you think of checking it out on your own.)

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For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to search, and a time to give something up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to rip, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Hey, would you please do me a favor? Would you please share this with someone you think would enjoy it?

And If you haven’t already, will you please like us over at Facebook (click below) and sign up for the Reel Parables email list?

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Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to See God’s Story in Movies,”

And be sure to check out our new Start Here and About pages!

Until next time,

Simon L Smith

May the 4th Be With You!

MayTheFourth

I saw the first Star Wars when I was seven. These movies have literally been with me my entire life. I love the original three, I like – and sometimes tolerate – the three prequels. I am excited about how the newest trilogy started!

I always figured the original three were really about the redemption of Darth Vader. The prequels seemed to agree.

Here’s to another generation of kids learning that everyone and anyone is worthy of redemption and that true love is sacrificial love!

May the 4th be with you!

Sharing God’s Story with Captain America: Civil War

2 Weeks from today (04/22) Captain America: Civil War opens! Here are your Spoiler Free Talking Points to Help You Share God’s Story!

My youngest son and I had the privilege of seeing Captain America: Civil War.

It. Is. AWESOME! It *may* be my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie so far!

If you haven’t’ already, go check out our definitive Captain America: Civil War binge watching guide. This will get you caught up on what you should see (again) before you see Captain America: Civil War.

Your definitiveCaptain America-Civil WarMCU binge guide

While I try to be spoiler free, there may be some inference/contextual spoilers. I *think* nothing more than what is in the trailers, but if you are concerned about spoilers, you may want to turn back now.

Divided We Fall

CW_Poster_01 “Divided we fall” is played up in both the trailers and in this official Civil War movie poster. And for good reason.

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom will not be able to stand. If a house is divided against itself,that house will not be able to stand.  (Mark 3:24-25)

In this passage Jesus is addressing those who claim that He casts our demons because He is of the devil. Jesus’ response is that a kingdom or a house divided against itself will not stand.

We get to see this idea play out in Civil War. Will Cap and Iron Man stand united? Or will they fall divided? What does that mean for The Avengers? Will the Avengers stand or fall?

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Spiritual Gifts

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As with most team super hero movies (the Avengers, Fantastic Four, the Incredibles, the X-Man) we get to see how the Church should use our spiritual gifts.

As Christians we all have spiritual gifts. We just don’t all have the *same* spiritual gifts.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (I Corinthians 12:4-6)

This is just like Civil War, each hero has their own gift, their own power. When used properly, they are used for the common good.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (I Corinthians 12:7)

This is how the Church and Christians should act. We should all use our individual gifts in community. Not just in and for our local church, but also in and for the global Church. We should all be moving towards a common good, and not simply our own good.

Sacrifice and Atonement

Sometimes we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody. But you don’t give up. (Captain America)

I don’t know your theological background, but this could lead to some very interesting discussion.

It reminds me of II Peter and how God “does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

The Lord is not slow concerning his promiseas some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)

I know there is more to it than just this verse, but does everyone come to repentance? Don’t some people perish? Don’t some people reject God?

We want to see everyone saved. We want to see all of or family and friends saved. We want everyone saved, but often we know that not everyone is saved.

Not Perfect, Just Forgiven

I know we’re not perfect. But the safest hands are still our own. (Captain America)

This line totally reminded me of the whole “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven” bumper sticker.

We feel that tension too, right? We want our heroes to be perfect. We want the good guys to be completely good.

The same rings true for the Church. We want our local Church to be perfect. We want the global Church to be perfect. We want our Church leaders – pastors, preachers, elders, teachers, etc. – to be perfect.

But we know they are not. And the world knows that they are not. And sometimes we get called out on it.

But we know, like Cap, that “the safest hands are still our own.” We are still the Body of Christ. We still have a purpose. We still have a plan.

Yeah, we are not perfect. But we don’t need to be.

Sharing God's Storywith Captain America- Civil War

There is so much more, but I don’t wan to cross the line into spoiler territory. I will do another Sharing God’s Story with Captain America: Civil War after its been out a while.

Have fun. Enjoy the movie. And don’t forget to share God’s story with Civil War!

Hey, would you please do me a favor?

Would you please share this with someone you think would enjoy it?

And If you haven’t already, will you please like us over at Facebook (click below) and sign up for the Reel Parables email list?

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Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to See God’s Story in Movies,”

And be sure to check out our new Start Here and About pages!

Until next time,

Simon L Smith

Your Definitive Captain America: Civil War MCU Viewing Guide

My youngest son and I had the privilege of seeing Captain America: Civil War. It. Is. AWESOME!

It *may* be the best Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie yet!

Yes, you could watch every movie in the MCU to prefer for Captain America: Civil War, but you don’t need to.  We did that for Avengers: Age of Ultron and it took a long, long, long time.

So, to save you a bit of time I present to you your definitive Captain America: Civil War MCU binge guides!

While I try to be spoiler free, there may be some inference/contextual spoilers. I *think* nothing more than what is in the trailers, but if you are concerned about spoilers, you may want to turn back now.

our definitive Captain America- Civil War MCU binge guides!

The Incredible Hulk Plan (because he is big…)

What to watch:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger (I know it was not the first MCU movie, but most of the movie does take place before the events of Iron Man.)
  2. Iron Man
  3. Iron Man 2
  4. Marvel’s the Avengers
  5. Iron Man 3
  6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  7. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  8. Ant-Man
  9. Captain America: Civil War!

This MCU viewing guide skips The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Guardian of the Galaxy but still gives you everything you need to know to be ready for Captain America: Civil War.

The “pick-your-favorite-character-that-is-not-the-Hulk-or-Ant-Man” Plan (because they are smaller than the Hulk but bigger than Ant-Man)

Still don’t want to spend that much time? I get it and I understand.

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger (I know it was not the first MCU movie, but most of the movie does take place before the events of Iron Man.)
  2. Iron Man
  3. Marvel’s the Avengers
  4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  6. Ant-Man
  7. Captain America: Civil War!

In addition to Hulk, Thor and Guardians, this MCU viewing guide also skips Iron Man 2 & 3.

NOTE: My 15-year-old son said to keep Iron Man 3 because of how it ends (Tony getting rid of his Iron Man suits). While mentioned in Civil War, I don’t think you need to watch Iron Man 3 to understand what is going on. Consider it an elective.

The Ant-Man Plan (uh, because he is small…)

Pushed for time? Here is the bare bones of what you should watch before you see Captain America: Civil War.

  1. Marvel’s the Avengers
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  4. Captain America: Civil War!

Yep, this MCU viewing plan is very minimal, very bare bones. “Just the facts ma’am.”

My son and I debated whether or not to include Ant-Man but finally agree that while helpful, it is not needed for plot. It *Is* important for some of the character interaction so treat it as a bare bones elective.

There you go… Now you have your choice between three MCU viewing guides to catch you up on what you need to know to get the most out of Captain America: Civil War!

Your definitiveCaptain America-Civil WarMCU binge guide
Hey, would you please do me a favor? If you don’t already own these, are want to, would you please consider buying them form the links in this post? It won’t cost you a penny more but Amazon will send a small percentage my way to keep this site up and running. Thanks!

Also, please you share this with someone you think would enjoy it? And If you haven’t already, will you please like us over at Facebook (click below) and sign up for the Reel Parables email list?

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Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to See God’s Story in Movies,”

And be sure to check out our new Start Here and About pages!

Until next time,

Simon L Smith

Hide & Seek and a Daddy Daughter Campout

Adam-and-Eve-2

Tomorrow  (April 15, 2016) my youngest daughter and I leave for our latest and greatest Daddy-Daughter Camp Out. Not only am I looking forward to spending time with and having adventures with my girl (past Daddy-Daughter Camp Outs included racing motorcycles and shooting guns), but I am looking forward to “preaching” on Sunday morning.

(FULL DISCLOSURE – The Daddy-Daughter Camp Out was cancelled last minute. I still like this and plan to use it when and where I can!)

The last time I had the privileged to preach I shared God’s story (and presents the Gospel) with Disney’s Frozen. Basically, I did for them what I did in my first book, Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen.

This year I still plan to share God’s story with movies.

Instead of one movie – Frozen – I plan to use many to show my main point. And this year’s main point is Romans 5:8:

But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners,Christ died for us.

God loves us – and pursues us – before we ever love or pursue Him.

Even when we sin, God still loves us!

We will talk about this in the context of Jesus’ Lost Parables. We will also talk about movies where we see this.

We see this played out in Frozen (God loves us the way Anna loves Elsa), Finding Nemo (Marlin still loves Nemo, and chases after him, even after he disobeys).

We are all playing a game of hide and seek with God.

Even though our sin separates us from God (before we are Christians), like with Adam and Eve He is looking for us because He still loves us.

Adam-and-Eve

Be sure to check out my first book, Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen.

And would you please do me a favor? If you don’t already own Frozen or Finding Nemo, would you please consider buying it from these links? It won’t cost you a penny more and Amazon will send a small percentage my way to keep this site up and running. Thanks!

Also, please you share this with someone you think would enjoy it? And If you haven’t already, will you please like us over at Facebook (click below) and sign up for the Reel Parables email list?

facebook-film-icon

Not only will this guarantee that you get the latest Reel Parables posts, but you will also get my most popular downloads, including “How to See God’s Story in Movies,”

And be sure to check out our new Start Here and About pages!

Until next time,  – May the Force be with you!

Simon L Smith