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“Jesus in Me” by Anne Graham Lotz

“Jesus in Me” by Anne Graham Lotz gives Christian believers insight about the person and character of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is a person who has a mind, a will, and emotions.

In the Old Testament, God gave the Holy Spirit to a specific person for a certain time and purpose.  Then the Holy Spirit departed from the individual after the person fulfilled their purpose.  When Jesus departed from the earth and the disciples met in the upper room, the Holy Spirit came upon them to stay.   The Holy Spirit now comes into anyone who places faith in Jesus Christ.  A new believer also has the same amount of the Holy Spirit as someone who has been walking with Jesus for decades.

The Holy Spirit gives us direction and guidance in our lives if we allow him to use us for  his purpose.  Anne reveals times in her life where the holy spirit guided her to accomplish his mission by sending her to a foreign country to preach God’s word  and give her message even though she was met with opposition.  She also reveals the times when the Holy Spirit has asked her to do certain tasks even if they were insignificant or didn’t make complete sense.

In her book, Anne also talks about the different spiritual gifts that are given to each believer.  When we use our spiritual gifts it benefits the church.  Not every believer has the same spiritual gifts.  The Christian body benefits when believers are using their gifts and it strengthens the power of the Christian church.

The main theme running through the book is how the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus in revealing him to us and also the people that come into contact with us.  Our purpose in life is to display God’s glory and complete God’s personal mission for us.  The Holy Spirit gives us guidance to the plan that God has for us.

“Jesus in Me” is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion

 

“My Review of 90210 Reboot”

One of my favorite TV shows that I can never get tired of watching is “Beverly Hills 90210.”  I became involved in the storylines of Brenda and Brandon Walsh and their friends Kelly Taylor, Steve Sanders, Dylan McKay, David Silver, and Andrea Zuckerman.  The characters deal with romance, addictions, school related problems, parental issues, and social problems at school that teenagers face.

The new reboot that premiered on FOX which was the original channel 90210 aired starts with all of the cast members reuniting for the show’s reunion.  Shannon Dougherty who played Brenda Walsh is shown via satellite in a clip, but will be joining the cast for future episodes.  The show is shown to be more of a reality show or a behind the scenes look of the actors coming together to revive the old show.

Like many other reviews that I have read watching the show I was a little confused about if the show is going to be more about the actors or the characters they played on 90210.  Since so many television shows like Fuller House or The Connors have brought back the show and continued on with the characters and their grown-up lives I would have liked to have seen a continuation of the original 90210.  The show could have begun showing the old Walsh house and all of the characters coming back to Beverly Hills if they had left and reuniting with everyone.   They could have touched on Luke Perry’s death also and had a special memorial for him in one of the episodes.  The show does mention Luke’s death as well as a clip of him, but I would have appreciated more of a tribute.

Since watching the premiere I have read a lot of people were disappointed because the show wasn’t a continuation of 90210.  The storyline also didn’t actually reveal to people what the show will be about.  I’m going to watch next week and see what will happen with the cast as well as Shannon returning.

“The Adventures of Fred”

Birds chirped outside of a house as a gray short-haired cat with a striped tail stretched on a cushy pillow and began to wake up.  The cat’s name was Fred and he began to walk down the hall eagerly wanting to grab a bite of food.  When Fred arrived at his bowl he stared at the dry cat food in his dish and began to eat.  After eating his food, Fred walked out of the door and began to walk down the driveway and checked for cars before hurrying on his way across the street.  He knew of a house that always gave him better food than what he received at home.  His owners always gave him dry cat food, but the neighbors gave him canned cat food and occasionally tuna.

Once he arrived at the neighbor’s house he hurried up the stairs and rushed to the empty bowl.  The owners were still inside, but Fred knew they would be out to fill his bowl very soon.  He began to relax on the sofa outside and watched the birds in the yard.  Fred wasn’t in the mood to chase them, but he was also keeping his eye out for the black cat that lived next door.  The black cat and Fred were rivals mainly over the cat food that was left outside.  Fred also had claimed that territory as his and didn’t want another cat to invade it.  He began to fall asleep again and enjoyed the sunshine.

All of a sudden, a door opened and a bowl was placed outside.  Fred knew what that bowl was and began to devour the food inside.  The owner opened the door and Fred began to meow.  His bowl was picked up and carried into the house.  Fred waited with anticipation for his food and began to meow at the door.   He began scratching at the outside carpet on the porch.  After what seemed like an eternity his bowl filled with food was placed outside along with a fresh bowl of water.  Fred sniffed at his food and then began to devour it.  It was better than the food he received at his house.  As soon as Fred finished eating out of the corner of his eye he saw a gray animal hopping in the yard.  Fred immediately began to race down the steps and began to follow the gray animal that continued to hop around in the yard.

The gray animal began to jump and began to climb up a tree.  It was a squirrel that was scurrying around the yard looking for nuts and other things to eat.  Fred began to scratch at the tree that the squirrel went up and then began to chase the birds that were in the yard.  While chasing the birds, the wind began to blow and the trees began to sway with the breeze.  It began to get a little colder and then the sky began to darken.   Fred began to be a little wary and then he felt a few drops of rain.  Then more rain began falling and Fred hurried onto his neighbors’ back porch.  He sat on the sofa and watched as the rain began to heavily fall.  As more rain fell, Fred wondered if he would even be able to get home.  Thunder began to rumble in the distance and Fred shivered on the back porch as he became afraid.  He curled up into a ball as the sky poured buckets of water outside.

The rain continued and Fred sat on the couch wondering if it would end.  He jumped off the couch and began to meow softly at the door.  Fred wanted in the warm and dry house.  The owners didn’t come although Fred knew they were still at the house.  Since he couldn’t open the door by himself he sat at the door and waited.  Fred began to wander where the owners of the house were because no one was coming to the door.  He began to scratch at the door and meowed.  Finally, the door opened and Fred darted inside the hall.  He began to look at the room and things around him.  Fred began to investigate the items and started to walk into other rooms of the home.  It was different than his house where the rooms were in a different pattern.

The owners were in the kitchen microwaving his food and Fred anticipated eating it.  His stomach rumbled as he thought of the delicious food that was awaiting him.  He heard a door open and close and the owner began to walk with a bowl to where Fred was.  Fred followed the owner to the room he had first entered, and the bowl was placed on the floor.  He began to gobble up all of the food.  Fred began to relax on the rug in the room and began to fall asleep.  Outside the rain began to fall, but Fred felt safe inside the warm and dry house.

Fred slept for a long time and began to wake up.  He began to stretch and started to walk around the house.  The owner of the house began to usher him back to the door and then outside on the back porch.  It was still raining outside so Fred stayed on the porch because he didn’t want to get wet.

All of a sudden, Fred heard a rumble and bright lights began to appear.  He noticed a silver car and then heard a door open and close.  The person began to walk up the back porch steps and approached Fred.  Fred was scared, but then realized it was his owner picking him up.  His owner picked up Fred and began to carry him down the steps and into his car.  Fred was placed on one of the seats of the car and then the door closed.  His owner got into the driver’s seat and the car started.  Fred’s owner began to drive down the driveway to their home.  His owner turned into their driveway and then opened his car door and then opened Fred’s car door.  He picked up Fred and carried him into the house.  Fred was carried to his food dish where his owner put him down.  His owner poured some food in his dish and Fred began to eat.

That night Fred climbed the stairs to his owner’s room.  He crawled to his favorite enormous blue pillow and fell asleep.  Today was a very exhausting day and tomorrow should bring even more adventures for a gray cat with a striped tail named Fred.

“A Star is Born and the Song Shallow”

It is a new award season and one of the films that is getting nominated is “A Star is Born” starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.  Already Lady Gaga has won a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice award for her song “Shallow.”  She also won a Critics Choice award as best actress for her performance in the movie.  Both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga have been nominated for Academy Awards for best actor and best actress as well as Sam Elliott for best supporting actor.

If you haven’t see “A Star is Born” it is a movie about someone inspiring to be a singer, but not being able to make it because of her appearance and lacking confidence in herself, and a famous singer who is dealing with drug and alcohol addictions.  It also is a film that reveals how someone can impact your life for the better by believing in you and giving you the confidence to achieve your dreams.

My favorite song in the movie is the song “Shallow” that Lady Gaga sings with Bradley Cooper when he brings up her onstage to sing with him during a concert.  That scene really stuck out to me because it is a defining moment with Lady Gaga’s character (Aly) deciding to quit her job as a waitress and pursuing her dream of being a singer by flying on a private jet to a concert where Bradley Cooper’s character (Jack) was performing. Hearing the roar of the crowd Jack begins to play and sings a song that Aly wrote. Aly also decides to go onstage and begins to sing with him.  The song really resonates because it describes how she is stepping outside of her comfort zone and also how she wants to know more about Jack.

One message that the film teaches is about how we judge others by their appearance rather than their heart.  Aly is unable to become a singer because managers and agents don’t believe that she is attractive enough to be a singer.  There’s a scene where Jack even calls Aly ugly although he is drunk and is dealing with a declining career because of his addictions.  Later, Jack apologizes to Aly but she is still hurt because he was the one person who believed in her.

“Star is Born” has been one of those films that has stuck with me after seeing it because of the story and the actors.  I hope that Lady Gaga will win best actress for her performance, but Glenn Close won a Golden Globe award for best actress and tied with Lady Gaga for the Critics Choice Award.  It does look like if Lady Gaga doesn’t take home the best actress award she’ll be taking home the award for best song.

 

 

Reflections and Going Forward

It seems like this year was just beginning, but now another year is upon us.  This past year was full of a lot of disasters, heartbreaking moments, and events that have been discussed and debated.  Many people have lost loved ones or welcomed new family members.  One thing this year has shown us is to cherish and love our family and friends as well as to reach out to people who need us and not just on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram.

If this year was a horrible year for you I pray that this new year will bring you joy and be a much better year for you.  The past year for me has had some good and bad moments.  I also was surrounded by one of nature’s disasters that is still being cleaned up as people are still going through the rubble and looking for another place to live.  Some of the burned areas also are still being in danger of having mudslides and also need to be rebuilt.

I hope that 2019 will a much better year and that we won’t see all of the suicides and shootings that seem to continually be reported on daily.  I also pray that people will be more connected with their family and friends and not just on social media.

“It’s A Wonderful Life”

Every year on Christmas Eve the annual holiday tradition of the classic movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” is shown on TV.   Throughout the years, viewers have seen the story of George Bailey played by Jimmy Stewart told through two angels up in heaven.  The story begins with George as a small child and then as a grown-up who is faced with several life-changing decisions.

It is interesting that “It’s A Wonderful Life” became to be a film through a Christmas card that Director Frank Capra read.  The film also wasn’t the success it became because most viewers at the theater at that time didn’t like a movie about World War 2 since it was right after the war and thought it was depressing.  It wasn’t until it was shown on TV because there wasn’t a lot of programming available at that time that it became the classic it was.  Now the film is shown every Christmas Eve and also shown in some theaters for viewers who want to see the movie on the big screen.

One of the scenes that stands out the most to me is the scene where George Bailey is contemplating suicide and wishes he had never been born.  Many of us feel that our lives don’t matter or aren’t making an impact in the world.  George’s main goal was to become an architect and to travel the world.  Unfortunately because of family circumstances he is unable to.  His life hasn’t gone the way he wanted and instead he is living in his hometown working at his father’s bank.  When Uncle Billy misplaces $8,000 that is supposed to be deposited in the bank and is mistakenly given to Mr. Potter in the newspaper and it looks like George will have to go to jail, George decides it will be better for everyone if he commits suicide.  An angel shows George that even if his life wasn’t as successful as he wanted he still had an impact on the lives around him.  I found that scene really important because it shows that your life matters to the people around you even if you haven’t accomplished your dreams and goals.

The scene at the end of the movie shows how George’s family and friends rally around him during his time of need.  When George needs money his wife Mary calls his friends and they show up with baskets of money.  One of his friends Sam Wainwright telegraphs him money.  It shows how all of us need to be a community of people that we can share our lives with.  A lot of people feel more isolated now and we need to get back into communities so we won’t feel so alone.

At the end of the movie we are left wondering what happened to Mr. Potter.  Does he return the $8,000?  Does he go to jail?  Does Uncle Billy finally  remember where he misplaced the $8,000?  One thing we can conclude is that Mr. Potter would never get the help that was given to George Bailey because he never showed anyone kindness or assistance.  Also, no one would probably would remember him the way George Bailey would be remembered.

 

 

 

 

 

“We Want More Family Entertainment”

I was at an entertainment networking event and the discussion soon turned to the lack of family friendly entertainment content on TV and at the movies.  When I scroll through the TV a lot of the shows have suggestive content, and aren’t something that families would be comfortable watching.

A lot of the shows I grew up with like “Full House”, “Family Matters”, “Boy Meets World”, and “Growing Pains” were shows that the whole family watched together.  I’m amazed at the lack of family-related content that networks and cable channels are showing.  The majority of the TV shows that I watch are re-runs.

For people that are lucky enough to have Netflix,  shows like “Fuller House” are being watched by old viewers of “Full House” and new viewers who are discovering the Tanner family.  While Netflix is popular and people are subscribing to Netflix and dropping the cable companies, there are many people who still have cable and don’t have access to the content on Netflix.

How should Hollywood increase the amount of family related content on TV and at the movies?  One thing that I have noticed is that they are rebooting popular shows like “Full House” or in discussions about bringing back past shows.  Another is to look at popular books that appeal to a family-oriented audience or come up with new ideas that would appeal to a family audience.

A lot of actors and actresses who worked on the sitcoms that viewers loved often comment that people come up and say to them, “A show like yours isn’t on TV anymore.”  It is sad that there hasn’t been new family-related shows that people have invited into their home and characters that become virtual family members.

Hollywood does listen when a show becomes popular or a movie does exceptionally well at the box office.  If a TV show that is family-friendly does well in the ratings, Hollywood does take notice and starts to increase more family-friendly content.