American Sniper

I still stand behind my prior post “Sniper”, but I feel like I need to add to it.  I wrote it coming from my personal point of view and what I would want to do.  It is not out of disrespect or judgment of others.  I know I am different.  I don’t agree with the death penalty either for the same reasons.  However, I cannot count the number of people who have told me over the last year and a half that they could not do what I do, just like our military service men and women do things that I and most of the general public could not do.  I do believe Ecclesiastes 3:1 that “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens”.

The reason I like snipers so much is because my favorite character in “Saving Private Ryan” was the sniper.  I liked how he quoted the Bible before each shot. Spoiler Alert!!!If you’ve ever seen it, you know that one of the Americans lets one of the Germans go.  That German ends up finding them again and killing a lot of Americans.  I haven’t seen it in a long time, because I don’t like to cry (I cry every time I watch the ending when they are at the grave site).  If I remember correctly, the enemy who was spared ends up killing my sniper. That is why my romantic view of not killing is impractical for the military.  When you let someone go or only shoot to injure, the enemy can end up killing Americans even though the enemy may lie wounded and bleeding.

I watched American Sniper today.  I went in knowing very little about it. I like Bradley Cooper and it was a sniper movie, so instead of going to the gym today especially since I didn’t feel all that great (I ended up getting pink eye because of all the crying I did at the end of the movie).  On a whim I went to the theater that was in the same shopping center.  I thought that maybe it was a true story because I thought I remembered hearing something about it in the buzz before it was released, but I didn’t really know for sure that it was about a real Navy Seal named Chris Kyle until the end. I did begin to believe it probably was true when I recognized some of the names of the bad guys.

I rarely go to the theater these days and am not very up to date with my movie watching.  I haven’t seen any of the other Academy Award nominees, although I would like to see “Wild”.  However, I hope that Bradley Cooper wins best actor this year.  He really did a good job.  I guess I’ll have to write another blog about Oscar Snubs if he doesn’t win.

I like and respect him (even more now) and appreciate his choices of roles and portrayal of PTSD in “American Sniper” and Bipolar Disorder in “Silver Linings Playbook”.  I hope with the recent death of Robin Williams and movies like these that mental illness will stop being so taboo and instead become something that society addresses  with compassion so that we recognize all of the good things that people who suffer from them have done and still do, rather than remembering all of those who become criminals because they do terrible things after they go off of their medication and become psychotic.

PTSD is real.  I cannot imagine NOT having it after being in a war zone.  I am thankful for programs like “Wounded Warrior” and especially “Team Rubicon” whose mission is to use veterans’ special training and skills to mobilize disaster relief efforts while helping the veterans transition back into civilian life. The founder of Team Rubicon actually lost his battle with PTSD and the resulting depression and ended up taking his own life.

We MUST avoid that. ESPECIALLY for those who make this nation what it is and protect us.  The United States would be nothing without our military and we need to protect them even better than they protected us because they have seen some pretty horrible things in order to let us sleep peacefully.  I feel like life can be a war zone for anyone if we’re not careful.  We need to pray for peace for our country for our people and for our world.

I’m thankful for war movies that make me think about and truly empathize with our troops and their families.  It is an incredible sacrifice and burden that they must carry in order to keep us safe and warm in our beds each night.

God Bless Them.

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People Needed on Our Side to fight the Zombies

So, I’ve thought about the team we’d need for the zombie apocalypse some more. We’re going to need some heroes: actors, actresses, musicians, athletes from all sports, some politicians, some cartoons, and games, things to occupy peoples’ free time and give them an escape while at the same time giving them hope and something to strive for in the future, and be educational. We’ll need toys too.

You’re going to need people in their 30s and 40s to bridge the gap between the next generation and the baby boomers. You’ll also need youth to find a cure for whatever is turning people into zombies. That’s why it will be important to have good schools where you teach all the core subjects and corps values as well as the arts and P.E.
You’d need to see how people know each other. Teams they’ve played on together, movies they’ve worked on, so we could get people on our side and spread the resistance movement and convert even more people to our cause.

You’d need a cure, but you’d have to make sure it was a permanent cure and not temporary like in the X-Men.

People I’d want on my side are:
Taylor Swift, Hugh Jackman, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, JZ, Coolio, LL Cool Jay, Chris O’Donnell, Drew Barrymore, the cast of Legends of the Fall, Miley Cyrus, Axel Rose, John Claude Van Damme and the cast of Universal Soldier, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cast of the Terminator movies, Britney Spears, Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, the cast of Raising Helen and the Notebook, Mark Harmon, Cote De Pablo, Michael Weatherly, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Amie Copland from the zip-lining accident who contracted a flesh eating parasite, Amy Robach, Bon Jovi, the Soul Surfer, Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Tim Tebow, Ron Gant, Glenn Burns, David Chandley, Neal Boortz, Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Terry Pendleton, Ryne Sandberg, Dale Murphy, Gary Carter, Ron Darling, Alex Rodriguez, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, OJ Simpson, Madonna, Mike Piazza, the Cincinnati Reds’ Hammering Three, MC Hammer, Salt N Pepa, En Vogue, the Spice Girls, David Beckham, Snoop Doggie Dog, Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Andruw Jones, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, Mark Wohlers, Mike Stanton, Otis Nixon, Sid Bream, Terry Pendleton, Mark Lemke, Francisco Cabrera, Raphael Ramirez, Bob Horner, Phil Niekro, Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Junior, the cast of Definitely Maybe.

We’d want Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and George Clooney.

I’d want the board games Life, Monopoly, Pente, Connect 4, Password, Taboo, Apples to Apples, Cranium, Banana Grams, Jenga, Battle of the Sexes, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary. We’d need some puzzles, dominos, card games like Rook, Uno, Skip Bo. We’d need word searches, crossword puzzles, Sudoku games.

I’d want to have the states California, New York, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Arizona, New Mexico, and Washington fighting with me. I’d like to have Europe, India, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada as Allies. I’d want to control the Thames, Seine, Yellow River, Mississippi River, the Nile, the Amazon river and rain forest, the Sahara and Death Valley, Black Sea, Red Sea, White Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, AND most importantly, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

I’d want the band Train, Paco De Lucia, the Gipsy Kings, Three Kings–both military and religious, Counting Crows, Collective Soul, Chris Tomlin, Third Day, John Berry, Rob Thomas, Everlast, Elvis the King and Elvis Costello, Priscilla and Lisa Marie, Chris Cornell and Audioslave, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, the cast of White Men Can’t Jump, Juliet Lewis, Robert Downey Junior and the cast of the Lost Boys, the numbers 21, 22, 24, and 27, as well as Steven King, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Joss Whedon and Josh Wheaton, a couple of Billie Jeans, Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks, Sandra Bullock, Kelly Clarkston and Keith Urban, Keith Whitley, Lori Morgan, Lori Loughlin, and Lori Greiner and some shark oil, Trace Adkins, the Palace Hotel and Central Park, El Retiro, MC Hammer and Guns N’ Roses, the Dixie Chicks and Toby Keith, Serena and Venus Williams, Boris Becker, John McEnroe and John Mayer, John Legend and Tatum O’ Neal, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Prince’s sister, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Intersection to pick up a Pretty Woman, a Delorian to travel in time, lots of Jonses and Smiths. The colors white and black, orange, yellow, green and white, red, white, and blue, and yes, a ROYAL purple. I’d even venture to say we’d need a few shades of pink and mint green as well as several tints, hues, and shades.  I’d call up Brad Paisley and the cast of Rising Star (both new and old), the Father of the Bride and the Good Wife, you’d need a good voice that could hold a tune in the wind as well as a cornet player and the whistle song.  I’d want the Pyrenees Mountains and the Bosque Region and for Roland to finally get his girl.  I’d want Alsace and Lorraine, Luxembourg and Germany, and definitely Switzerland and the Netherlands.  And for crying out loud, get Viggo Mortensen even if you have to walk on the moon!!!  I’d want Contact, but I want communication and a way to return home even if it is with a volleyball named Wilson.

You’d need to go Down by the Creek Bank and wrestle a snake, and then send out a Proof of Life and pay the Ransom.  Then get the cast of Charlies’ Angels both new and old and a Few Good Ryans, Steffi Graf, and Andre Agassi. Next get the cast from the shows House, ER, Grey’s Anatomy. Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Junior, Renee Zellweger and Friday Night Lights, the Boys of Summer and the Eagles, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, the cast of the Notebook, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Kevin Bacon. The cast of the Fast and the Furious movies, games like Pole Position, Crazy Taxi, Tetris, Pac Man, Styx, Wi machines, X-boxes. And make sure to leave an air hole and raise the ship in Hawaii.  Then get some coffee shops with waitresses and baristas like Jennifer Anniston, a baker, and 8th grader, and a Marine, a Navy Seal, and the cast of Friends. Then draft Beavis and Butthead, the Simpsons, South Park, Arrested Development, In Living Color and find some Treckies to fight the Force.  Then get some blue people.

We’d need Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Harrison Ford and Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Renee Russo, Kevin Costner, John Cusack, Bruce Willis, Jason Patric, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson, Dakota Fanning, the cast from the Twilight Movies and Buffy and Angel the Cast from Brehm Stokers’s Dracula, and the Lost Boys, Fire Fly, Battleship Galactica, Superman, Batman, Thor, the Avengers, Star Wars, Titanic, and I don’t know.  Don’t forget to get some Guses and their mommies.

You’ll need to Fight for Your Right to Party.  I’d like to have John Travolta, Debra Winger, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Darryl Hanah, Robert Duvall, Richard Dreyfuss, Liam Neeson, Daniel Day Lewis, Julia Stiles, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Michael Vartan, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a Doll House. Dude, we’d need a lot of people to convince the zombies and those on the fringe to our way of thinking.

We’d need Jennifer Lawrence, and Liam and Chris Helmsworth.  They are really important as well as Bradley Cooper.  You’d need to pack some MREs to feed a hungry army and the refugees and those on the fringe.  Don’t forget Matthew Goode, Amy Adams, Mandy Moore, Hillary Duff, Chad Michael Murphy, and Meryl Streep, and Amanda Seyfried. And make sure to ride a Gondola and kiss under a bridge on the way to the Vatican.

We’d want Glenn Burns, David Chandley, Monica Pearson, Brenda Woods, Jill Becker, Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Diane Lane, Wesley Snipes, Jamie Fox, Tom Berenger, Sean Connery and Camelot.  Crying Out to a Beloved Country in South Africa, Nicolas Cage, Jodie Foster, Billy Bob Thornton, the cast of the Deer Slayer, the English Royal Family, Obama, Mitt Romney, Rudolph Giuliani, Aerosmith, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, some hockey, polo, soccer, and rugby players, golfers. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law.  Please don’t forget the writers and the Gutenberg Press.

Man, I’m tired after trying to get all these people together. We’d need Wayne Gretzky, Jennifer Jones, Mitch Gaylord, Kurt Browning, Scott Hamilton, Katarina Witt, Mary Lou Retton, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kerri Strug, Gabby Douglas, some ice skaters, runners, bicycle and motorcycle drivers, triathlons athletes, track and field people, the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean and the Lord of the Rings movies. Gerard Butler, Hillary Swank, Clint Eastwood. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses, musicians, and bartenders, and find a good IT guy.

OK. I’m gonna stop now. I think that’s a good start.

Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  After further reflection, none of this will work if you don’t have my brother, Penny Lane, and a good Albatross.

My Plans to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

I took a continuing education class today about disaster preparedness and it really got me thinking. People from my church also began talking about it on our retreat a week ago. So along the lines of my last blog about snipers and the Terminator II philosophy, what if the zombies were just like Non-Christians that needed to be converted to Christians/back to being humans? What if the zombies just need love and understanding and we have to coax them back into our world rather than killing them?

If I had to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, I would want to live in Norcross, Georgia. First we would take my neighborhood, Beaver Ruin Road, and Buford Highway. From there, we would spread into Lilburn, Snellville, Loganville, Monroe, on to Athens and conquer/ take back UGA. Then from Norcross, we’d also go up I-85 North and 316/Boggs Road to Sugarloaf Pkwy. and Lawrenceville, take Briscoe Field, go through Winder and Bethlehem and get another safe way into Athens. We’d also go up I-85 North to I-985 into the mountains.

Next, we’d go up Buford Highway to North Druid Hills, Clairmont Road, the City of Decatur, then take back Stone Mountain, Lithonia, and I-20 to Social Circle and back to Monroe. Then we’d go the other way out I-20 toward Carrollton and capture the University of West Georgia area, and all the way to Augusta. We’d need to hop the Savannah River, take over the Deepwater Port of Savannah and the Sea Islands, then work our way back through the countryside on a reverse Sherman’s march. Then we’d also go back across the Savannah River, back into Augusta, and back down I-20 into Atlanta, and up 85 North to get back into Norcross. From our strong post in Carrollton, we could take Newnan, then Franklin, head into Alabama, La Grange, and approach Atlanta from the South taking back Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

We’d have to secure I-285 from I-20 to I-75 North. This way we would have Emory hospital and university, Northside Hospital, Egleston, Meridian Mark and would go down one way toward downtown Atlanta, and the other way into Dunwoody, down Peachtree Dunwoody to Perimeter Center West, Ashford Dunwoody to Hammond Drive, 400, Roswell Road, then we could reconquer Holcomb Bridge and head back the other way up to Norcross. While in Dunwoody, we would need to capture Perimeter Mall and infiltrate Marta.

People I would want to have on my side are: the military, the clergy, teachers, gypsies (you need some good thiefs!), police, writers, bloggers; you need a good baker, hairdresser, realtor, butcher, farmer, communications and technology gurus, firemen. You’d also have to have plenty of Wal-Marts, Targets, Lowe’s, Home Depots, Krogers, & Publixes, as well as the Mom and Pop businesses like the Good Stuff, Agavero, the Brick Store, the 5 Seasons, some farmers’ markets, some restaurants.

But, you’d have to build your immunity so you could walk in and out of the zombie world without sustaining too many injuries. You would have to build up your tolerance to the poisons that turn you into a zombie like the Dred Pirate Roberts built up a resistance to the effects of iocane powder in the Princess Bride and be able to cross over into both worlds. You would need a white shirt for daytime and a black shirt for night, a pair of dark sunglasses, a vehicle, and lots of guns and explosives. You’d need computers, and means of communication like playing cards, bill boards, magazines, and coffee table books. You’d need toys for kids.

My home would be a safe house/neutral ground for both zombies and non-zombies. They’d have to call a truce to step inside and one must call “Peace be to this house” upon entering. If you do not hear someone say “and also to you”, then you need to get out fast.

The supplies I came up with most important–#1–got to have clean water! That’s where boy and girl scouts and survival training will come into play. They’ll need to know how to turn urine into water. It will be even better to have Spring water, distilled water, Aquafina, Poland Springs, Dasani, Nestle, etc. You’d need things you could barter with like jewels that you could sew into garments and use when necessary. You’d need safe drug stores and medication along with doctors and hospitals in your corner for those with illnesses.

I would want a cross necklace, a watch, batteries, cell phone–don’t forget wall & car chargers—face masks, Brita pitchers & filters, tools/toolbox, gasoline, battery powered lighting & fans, generators, coolers with ice, water, & Gatorade-type products, breathing machines, sun screen & bug spray, non-perishable fruits/snacks (energy bars), CASH (banks & ATMs will be offline), First Aid supplies and blankets, any extra RX not filled for future use, & a list of medications a person takes.

I have a few picture frames by my front door I would take off the wall and take with me as well as a basket of small photo albums. But that’s only if I had to leave my safe house.

You’d need a list of your computer passwords, a purse/go-bag, Matches, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, a mirror, candles, toilet paper, power strips/flash drives, and old school garlic and salt tablets as well as Magnesium and Folic Acid, Slo-Niacin, Vitamin C & D, Fish Oil, etc.

I would start a school with flash cards and books/textbooks. After all, education is the key to civilization. You would need pens, pencils, paper, markers, crayons, paint. You’d need some greatest hits albums/CDs, some classic movies, The Wizard of Oz, & movies like GI Jane, the Terminator, X-Men, Red Dawn, A Few Good Men, Shooter, Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, etc. You’d need to save some art, have some Bibles in multiple languages, and I think Spanish or Latin should be the lengua franca(s).

If TV works, I’d want to have access to the CW, CBS, and CNN and the radio stations the Bull, the River, and the Fish as well as AM 750 and NPR. We’d need some athletes, actors, and actresses, musicians, politicians, and a good mix of people of different ages on our side.

You’d have to pay attention to birds and other animals, the stars, colors, lights, signs, peoples’ eyes, all kinds of things. In addition to the zombies, you have to worry about the vampires and the machines and cryogenics.

You’d need a few treats like soda (both caffeinated & decaf), coffee, beer ( both with and without alcohol), I’m sure some people would want wine, American Eagle cigarettes for smokers, chocolate, Takis, & Doritos.

Man, there’s so much I need to think about and share. I’ll write more or at least revise this once more comes to me.

Sniper

OK. So I said I was looking forward to watching the Sniper Trilogy I got a year-and-a-half ago, but did not sit down to do it until this week. I just didn’t want to see Tom Berenger get his finger cut off. I finally decided I was ready for it and liked the movies very much. They were different than I remembered. It’s been a long time since I saw them so I did not know what was going to happen. That was kind of nice. I often watch the same movies over and over and know what’s coming next so it’s a little boring.

When I have taken career aptitude tests, military has always come up as a job for me given my skills and interests. However, I don’t think I would have made a good soldier because I am a pacifist, don’t like peeing outdoors/in public, and have some health issues which I don’t think would do well with sleep deprivation. I’m too old to enter the military now. But, I really like watching action movies and am a pretty decent shot.

I ascribe to the Terminator II philosophy of injuring people but not killing them. The old King James Bible  says “thou shalt not kill” which I thought was pretty clear, cut and dry.  Since first writing this, I have learned that the newer translations say “you shall not murder.”  In some ways the two words are splitting hairs.  But, I think killing someone in self defense is different from maliciously seeking out to kill someone intentionally which is more what murder is.

I value my life but I am willing to die for others to save someone if necessary.  I know that soldiers are willing to die to protect the country and people they love.  I have a picture of a soldier with angel’s wings with the scripture from John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  If I am faced with someone committing violence against me, I’d probably just take it.  But when other people who are innocent or vulnerable are involved, I feel like I probably would try to protect them and would lay my life down for them.  I am not sure I would take a life to save a life but if it were for the greater good or if I were fighting what people would deem a “just” war (other peaceful means have been exhausted), I think I could reconcile myself to it. After all, in the Bible there were all kinds of battles and wars that God ordained.

I think that we should give people as much of a chance to come to God and live right as we can. When it comes to the death penalty, I think only God has the right to end someone’s life.  I think having to serve a life sentence thinking about what the person did to be there can be it’s own kind of torture and seems punishment enough to me.

If at all possible I think injuring is better than killing.  I think that if I were to actually use a gun on people, I would need to become really good and accurate so that I could injure without killing but cause enough damage to stop them from doing whatever bad thing they’re trying to do. That would require practice that I really don’t have the means to do. I guess every once and a while I go to arcades and have a little fun hitting targets that I can’t harm. I really do like blowing shit up at least at the arcades.

So, I think it’s time for me to take a brief sojourn to an arcade and get my inner soldier out. If you’re wondering if I were a soldier what kind I would be, I would be a Navy Seal that would enter from the Navy. After all, like Sam says on NCIS Los Angeles, “Seals are the best”.

My MOS would be sniper. After playing paintball, I realized I’m no good at running and hiding behind things. I do much better at long ranges from a secure location. But, I realized the danger of being a sniper, because when I finally got hit, it was a head shot. That kind of brought home the realization of what it was like, what soldiers must face,Dec. 2011-Mar. 2012 070 and the danger they put themselves into. It definitely increased my respect and appreciation for them.

Rudy

I am a Youth Leader of sorts. That is, I volunteer with our youth group at church. In July, our church made a controversial move by getting rid of our Youth Minister just prior to our big summer event “Teens Love Christ”, otherwise known as “TLC”. The new leader was already established and known in the church because he is the praise band leader and has had various other roles over the years. He charged all of us to read Adam Stanley and Stuart Hall’s book The Seven Checkpoints: Seven Principles Every Teenager Needs to Know, for Youth Leaders. 

I began reading it last summer, but it asks you to look up Bible verses and my Bible was in another room. I was too lazy to get up and get it, so it sat on my coffee table for seven months. It’s been on my mind, but with work and illness, I did not have the strength to take it on, because I knew I wanted to be able to soak in and retain the knowledge it would give me.  My preacher in elementary school once said when talking about our relationship with God, “There is no excuse.” There is no excuse good enough to explain away the things and reasons why we do not have a better relationship with our Creator after what He has done by sending His Son to die for our sins.

So, the book asks, “If you were to title the movie of your life today, what would it be and why?”

My favorite movie is Rudy. For those of you who have not seen it, you should. Sean Astin otherwise known as Sam in Lord of the Rings and Drew Barrymore’s brother in 50 First Dates plays Daniel Ruettiger: a real life American football player whose dream was to play at Notre Dame.

My dad graduated from Georgia Tech and Notre Dame was their arch rival. Growing up, I was allowed to root for Georgia Tech and whoever was playing Georgia and Notre Dame. In fact, when UGA and Notre Dame were in the Sugar Bowl in 1981, I was actually allowed to root for Georgia who you would think is Tech’s arch enemy! So, it is ironic that my favorite movie is about a Notre Dame football player.

I watched Rudy for the first time at a get-together for my friend’s church’s singles’ group. My friend met her husband in that group, so it was a good thing for several reasons.

In Rudy, Sean Astin so desperately wants to get into Notre Dame and play football. He has no real athletic ability and is “five foot nothing.” He was not a good student perhaps because he was diagnosed with dyslexia while attending Holy Cross College, a feeder school for Notre Dame.  But, Rudy had heart. The coach even talks about it to the other players in a speech he makes to them or another coach. I may have already talked about my favorite quote from the movie, but I will say it again.

Rudy: Maybe I haven’t prayed enough.

Father Cavanaugh: I don’t think that’s the problem. Praying is something we do in our time, the answers come in God’s time.

Rudy: If I’ve done everything I possibly can, can you help me?

Father Cavanaugh: Son, in thirty-five years of religious study, I’ve come up with only two hard, incontrovertible facts; there is a God, and, I’m not Him.

Sean Astin and Robert Prosky in Rudy

Rudy did finally make it into Notre Dame and realized his dream of playing football for them. His teammates made an amazing play so that he could have field time, and Rudy made an even more amazing  tackle (ironically) against Georgia Tech that caused Rudy to be carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates. Apparently, very few people have ever been carried off the field by Notre Dame players.

I guess the reason I like this movie so much, is while my life is good in many ways, I have had to overcome some adversity too. Daniel Ruettiger applied every semester to Notre Dame but was rejected every time. It came down to his very last chance as far as being able to transfer before he was accepted. I feel like I have to try things more than once. Sometimes two, three, and in the case of renewing my passport, it will be my forth try the next time I try.

Ruettiger never gave up and although his faith wavered for a moment, he did not let it stop him and he ended up making one of the most memorable plays in all football history. I am hoping I can someday make some great plays in the lives of young people.

A few favorite Bible verses and Rudy

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed Spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

His loved ones are very precious to Him. He does not lightly let them die.

Psalm 116:15

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:19

When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.

Luke 11:24-26

No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.

Luke 11:33-36

Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.  O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?  Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. Part your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke.  Send forth lightning and scatter the enemies; shoot your arrows and rout them. Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, to the One who gives a victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword. Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.  Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets. Blessed are the people of who this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.

Psalm 144

Rudy: Maybe I haven’t prayed enough.

Father Cavanaugh: I don’t think that’s the problem. Praying is something we do in our time, the answers come in God’s time.

Rudy: If I’ve done everything I possibly can, can you help me?

Father Cavanaugh: Son, in thirty-five years of religious study, I’ve come up with only two hard, incontrovertible facts; there is a God, and, I’m not Him.

Sean Astin and Robert Prosky in Rudy

Why men should watch “Pretty Woman”

I haven’t written for a while, but I’ve been thinking a bunch and journaling some. I started adding to my memoir and have a lot more I will have to sift thru and fill in where appropriate. I was going to write a blog about why a guy in my Sunday school class should watch “Pretty Woman.” It turns out he has seen it, he just doesn’t like it and he thinks that Julia Roberts is a terrible actress. This is from the guy who’s leading a Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back series of lessons, and who brought us the Simpsons lesson when I first joined the class. I love my church, but I digress. So, here are 28 reasons why a guy should watch “Pretty Woman.”

He’d learn about etiquette.

He’d learn about well laid plans and Murphy’s Law.

He’d learn how to operate opera glasses.

He’d see how to plan a date night.

He’d learn about popping a squat.

He’d learn about fairy tales.

He’d learn the oldest profession of women throughout history and back to biblical times.

He’d learn why women are better drivers of some stick shifts and how long your foot is in relation to your wrist and elbow.

He’d see Julia Roberts get a shiner.

He’d see my favorite color (coral).

He’d learn about polo.

He’d appreciate why pok-a-dots were in style when I was in high school.

He’d learn about the art of negotiations.

He’d get to watch “I Love Lucy” reruns.

It’s like watching “The Sure Thing.”

He’d learn about insomnia.

He’d know why the penthouse is the best.

He’d get to hear good music.

It’s funny.

He’d get to learn about the “Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

He’d learn about hiding places and why to be careful about who knows where they are.

You get to see Julia Roberts in a bubble bath and nude.

He’d learn how to get free food when you’re hungry.

He’d learn about the importance of taking time off.

He’d learn about building something.

He’d learn about psychology.

He’d learn about players and how eventually they settle down.

These are just a few reasons I thought of without watching the movie. It’s been a while since I saw it, so I am going by memory. I’m sure there are a lot of other reasons and I may have some inaccuracies, but you get the gist of it. I hope if you’ve never seen “Pretty Woman” you’ll give it a try because it is an American Classic.

Thanks. That is all for now.