It Is The Winner

There are so many Christmas movies and so little time. I mean there are country Christmases, urban Christmases, California Christmases, Alien Christmases. It goes on and on.

For me, this season the winner is Last Christmas on HBO.

This is the best, most fun movie I watched all the way through and only stopped once. Child of the 1980s that I am, it won me immediately with the George Michael music throughout the movie. And this cute little film from the UK reminded me why I love his music which set a certain type of mood for the film.

The well written script tells me the story in a manner that keeps my interest by making me wonder where it is going. Our main character is Kate, a young woman living in the UK with her parents and sister, all of which have immigrated from Yugoslavia during the critical time of Brexit. She is living the life of a normal twentysomething.

Emilia Clarke is so good as Kate, she is annoying. The first 40 minutes of this movie, I wanted to punch her myself. I was yelling “Girl, get a life!” Then the very charming Henry Golding shows up at Tom and starts me to wondering. First of all, why would someone like him be interested in a girl who wears an elf costume? I didn’t find this to be one of those ordinary Christmas stories.

The Emma Thompson plays Kate’s mother which gives you a glimpse into why Kate is so crazy. Thompson’s character is this older woman who has immigrated to the UK has lots of fears about it. She is a doting mother, but none make you hate her. Michelle Yeoh plays Kate’s boss who goes by the name of Santa and also gives you moments to giggle. Both women characters have that thing that happens after you turn 50 when you say whatever you think to the twentysomething in the room, like “that’s stupid.”

The screenplay was written by Thompson and Bryony Kimmings who were inspired by George Michael’s song Last Christmas. I enjoyed how they chose to tell the story. It was cheeky, funny, corny and endearing.

I like the story because of the set up. It doesn’t do anything that I don’t expect. It slides a few things in, like the Christmas shop that sells odd Christmas ornaments like the baby Jesus with a full set of teeth and a smiling donkey or a Christmas tree made from baby cabbages.

The thing I love is that it takes me one step deeper than most movies like it. It explains why. Life is full of people who do dumb stuff. Once you know why they do it, it changes everything. For that, this movie will go on my list of movies I will watch over and over. And Henry Golding is hot.

The Smells of Heaven

I am sure before Christ’s resurrection the aroma of the sacrifices for sin filled the space. The Bible tells us that the best cut of meat was sacrificed on the altar as an atonement for sin. I think the fragrance of the prayers of the saints overpowered it. I am sure it was amazing to breathe.

Today, I walked through an area where smokers hung out. Not only was the smell of tobacco in the air, but it was stale.  I tried to hold my breath until I got past it.

The smell I abhor is walking into a restroom and it smell like urine. As I was hurrying trying to get out of there I thought. “Lord, is this what it was like coming to earth? You left the amazing smells of Heaven for the filthiness of earth.”

I can’t think of anyone I like enough to stay in a situation that smells bad.  Yet, I can only imagine what Jesus gave up for His love of us.  He went to the depths of Hell for us.

Bulls and lambs are no longer sacrificed. Prayers are still the fragrance of the saints. Jesus offers eternal life to all those who believe.  Jesus has only one stipulation to those who want eternity with Him. John 3:16.

Chris Rock Started Singing Circus Afro

in the middle of worship this morning and I couldn’t stop to answer the phone. Yes, Chris Rock is still my ringtone. It is normally my habit to turn the ringer off before I enter the church. I did the same thing today, but it came back on in the middle of church service, but fortunately I was up in the sound booth, and only the folks up there with me heard it.

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Another habit I have been practicing a little longer is sacrificing something for Lent. I am not Catholic or any type of Orthodox religion. I just appreciate the season. I was thoroughly amused when a friend asked me what I gave up for Lent.  I have been doing this long enough that folks who know me know.

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One of the things I chose was to praise God everyday in a very physical way. So on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram and here I posted my praise in the form of His Word.  It was interesting to see which scriptures resonated with my friends.

I also believe that it is not a sacrifice unless it cost you something.  How can I offer to God something that is free to me? How can I offer something that means nothing to me?  So I sacrificed things that I valued.

As I approach this last week before Easter, this Holy Week,  I am reminded that He is a Holy Uncreated God. Everything I see is created, He is not created. Even though I cannot wrap my finite mind around this, it is true.

I am also reminded as I make my way to the cross this week with millions of other Christ followers, that the way to the cross is not paved in gold bricks and lavished meals.

It was on a dirt road, with a heavy cross and lots of onlookers who were not willing to help.  He endured the pain of the cross for me. Praise God.