The Da Difference

My wife and I were going to see United 93 on Friday. Unfortunately, the opening night of The Da Vinci Code pre-empted the late show of the 9/11-based movie. Fascinating. A retrospective look into a real event isn't as hot a seller as a ficticious, (and to some, blasphemous), re-writing of the origin of Christianity.

We entertained the idea of seeing it but the earliest available showing would have brought us home over an hour later than our third choice. While I like staying up later than the average bear, my wife, on the other hand, would have turned into a pumpkin long before Tom Hanks made his Eureka! discovery.

Personally, I don't have a problem with the DVC as entertainment. Where I stand, the story has as much credibility as an historical work as This is Spinal Tap a documentary on the life of a rock band. Do people believe all bands are as messed up as the spoof? Of course! People even form bands and mess themselves up just to be like the characters in the movie, completely unaware that they are being idiots.

Will people accept the details of the DVC as fact? Probably no more so than those who buy into the most common theme in entertainment: the indomitable will of the human spirit. To believe that I am the source of everything in my life, rather than the recipient of a choice my Saviour made for my sake, is worse then asking the simple question of whether the DVC is true.

At least DVC is open and honest with its stand, even if considered wrong. The "if it's gonna be, it's up to me" attitude has subtlely worked its way even in Christian circles. We've accepted a form of godliness but deny its power; we've taken responsibility that should rightfully be God's.

The da difference between all belief systems and Christianity is simple: Other systems impose their rules for living, and reward only those who follow them completely. In contrast, Christianity establishes its rules for living, and rewards all who believe in Jesus with His Spirit, that the rules will be enforced internally.

Romans 8:14-16 reminds us: 14 Only those people who are led by God's Spirit are his children. 15 God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. 16 God's Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. 17 His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him. (CEV)

That in itself makes all the da difference to me.

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Does United 93 truly honour the families?

I got a spam message this past week from Motive Entertainment. They wanted to explain the controversy of the 9/11 feature film United 93. I remember shortly after the event, a book about the passengers banding together to overtake the hijackers was written by Lisa Beamer, housewife, mother, and widow to passenger Todd Beamer.

Out of courtesy, I thought I'd search for any response from Mrs. Beamer on the film. My eyes teared over as I read an editorial published Apr 27 2006 written by David Beamer — Todd’s father. The title says it all: “United 93 The filmmakers got it right.”

Here’s the link sent with the original email I received: www.U93.org. I know what I believe. You owe it to yourself to see what you believe.

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Mr. Holland's Memories

So I am not completely up on the deaths of many people whose work I admire. In an earlier post I mentioned that I only recently discovered that Larry Burkett, financial mentor to many Christians through his work with Christian Financial Concepts (which now operates under the name of the ministry merged with it, Crown Financial), passed away a few years ago. Tonight, I made a similar discovery while watching Mr. Holland's Opus.

First, let me say that Mr. Holland's Opus is an extremely inspiring film. For me, especially, because it's about a musician with dreams of grandeur settling for a day job. Just like me. What's not like me is that Mr. Holland's day job as a high school music teacher offered a level of interaction to influence a generation. Several generations.

What does a movie have to do with real life? Apart from the montage sequences that guide us (like a compass, a symbol often mentioned by the high school Principal), the believability of the characters and their situations, and the storyline elimination of the arts, music, and drama budget causing the retirement of teachers of those subjects, I would have been willing to say that movies and real life are similar but distinct.

Fortunately, the composer of the soundtrack to Mr. Holland's Opus decided that the very real situation prescribed by number-crunchers as a solution to the education systems financial woes decided that he could no longer be silent. Mr. Michael Kamen, a brilliant composer responsible for the soundtrack to Robin Hood, Die Hard, and Highlander as well as many others (he even worked with Metallica), started the "Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation" several years ago to provide funding toward music programs in the USA.

Over and above the emotional realism in the movie, the fact that Mr. Kamen would address the very real budget-cut situation in the world today makes me stand up and salute the man for his willingness to do something about the problem.

I am saddened, however, to hear that Michael Kamen passed away in November 2003. Fortunately his memory lives on at www.michaelkamen.com and through the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.

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