The Heart of Man, The Love of God

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Don't miss this one!

You have one more chance to see this great movie!

I love movies. I love movies that are made well. I love films where the director focused his lens on beauty. But I really love movies that make me think and potentially change my view on the world.

The Heart of Man is one of those movies. As a reader of my blog, I don't want you to miss your once chance to see this film on a big screen, surrounded by a full audience in a public theater environment. It really is worth your time and money to experience this film in a theater.

You know how much I love to talk about the gospel and the love of God. It is part of my everyday conversations around here. It is so rare that a film is made and communicates the concepts of God's love and redemption so clearly. 

FILMING TECHNIQUE
The Heart of Man is filmed in a unique way. It very clearly depicts individuals and couples who share their personal lives in a documentary interview format. They are quick to walk you down to the dark spaces in their journey with God. Addictions, hurt, damage, and pain are on display. (Note: this film speaks candidly about sexual sin and you should consider who you bring - more on that below). Had the director stopped there, I would simply not recommend this film. There are plenty of places on the internet where you can listen and watch folks open up honestly about dark sinful choices and how they were redeemed.

What if our brokenness is a bridge, not a barrier?

This director does not stop there.

Within the personal interviews, the director weaves a story of The Prodigal in a beautiful and vivid way. The story is simple and easy to follow, but is told without dialogue. This is why you must see this film. The images still burn in my mind. To see the depth of the love of God and what He does to pursue us before, during and after our descent into sin is life-changing.

THEMES
This film speaks clearly to themes of sexual addiction, infidelity and sexual abuse, but in no way should you pigeon hole this movie in that way. It's a movie about living in freedom and knowing that the Father loves you and pursues you and never gives up on you.

This is a film for those struggling in addictions. A film for those struggling with sin. It is a film for those struggling with loss. It's a film for those struggling with despair and a loss of hope.

In fact, I would say that this film is made for everyone. Sinner. Saint. Believer. Unbeliever. Christian. Non-Christian. Protestant. Catholic. Muslim. Jew. Hindu. Buddhist. Gay. Lesbian. Transgender. Man. Woman.

DISCUSSION
I believe this movie will begin discussions on your walk back to the car. You will leave a changed person with a desire to talk through certain scenes, how they were filmed and what they communicated and how you feel about it.

Kendra and I saw it on opening night during a limited release. We immediately made plans to purchase this film and turn it into a community event where we could invite our friends who are waking up from Gospel Amnesia and those who are discovering the love of God for the first time. We were stoked to hear it was out on re-release for one more night. 

What about kids? We have learned to have discussions sooner rather than later. That being said, we would not hesitate to take OUR 10 year old son. We've had hard conversations already. This film would only serve to clarify the love of God in his life. We are willing to step in and talk about themes of sexuality, lust, adultery, pornography and the brokenness in the world. If you aren't prepared for that, you might want to consider who you invite along.

Are you interested in joining us? Leave a comment or contact me here and we'll keep you in the loop.

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

SkyMall, Part Two

If you are a long-time reader of The MangoTimes, you know I like to occasionally offer commentary on a few of the odd corners I have found in our society. In one of those corners (and every airline seat pocket) you will find a copy of the SkyMall catalog. I've mentioned this catalog of non-necessities in a previous post. You need to go read it right now! I'll wait.

Okay. Kendra and I have been traveling back and forth across the country this month and I have had several opportunities to flip through the pages of this mail-order masterpiece again. As I scan the endless collection of crap and I wonder who is taking the time to actually order this stuff, I can't help but remember that my own dad is the perfect mark for SkyMall's advertising team. 

This leads me to this 2nd installment in my commentary on SkyMall merchandise. Here are a few more beauties I found during my short flight from Chicago to Philadelphia. As always, if you read through this list and see something you own or something you have purchased, I am sorry. No really, I am very sorry for you.

(*I apologize for the image quality. iPhone + turbulence = shaky images.)


TORTILLA BABY SWADDLE BLANKET - $47.99

The description on this one refers to "their delectable little toes" and "good enough to eat." Let's get something very clear: Unless you are a witch who lives in a candy house in the middle of a dark German forest, eating children or even the thought of eating children is not normal. Also, after 8 kids I'm still a little freaked out by diaper blow outs. I don't want to unwrap this tortilla and have any future confusion about refried beans!


MADEMOISELLE HAUTE COUTURE LAMP - $549

After you purchase the Leg Lamp from Christmas Story and it it just is not cheesy enough for you and your family, SkyMall swoops in for the rescue! Look at this beauty and you can get it/her for the low low price of only $549 dollars.  Do you want to know the best part? SkyMall promises Curbside Delivery! Which is perfect, because then all your neighbors will also know just how weird you really are!


RELEAF NECK REST - $19.99

First question I have is this: What's wrong with using the actual spelling for "relief?" How does the alternate spelling help sell this product or cause me to want to have it?

Second question is this: Who are these giraffe-necked people using this pillow? Unlike a U-shaped pillow that allows you to remain alive, the Releaf Pillow apparently works by slowly choking you to death. Think of it as an ergonomically designed noose with moisture wicking potential. Also, take a look at the list of everyday situations that improve with a straight neck. Sleeping upright? If sleeping upright is a problem you need solved in your life, I think your biggest need is not a plush neck ring. Instead, I would be focusing on saving my money for an actual bed and maybe a pillow (followed by an actual life). 


DELIGHTFUL DANCING DUCKS WELCOME SIGN - $24.95

I'm pretty sure that if I visit your house for the first time and see these three ducks out front, I am going to make some initial conclusions about you and none of them are going to be, "Hey, I'm visiting the house of a normal person!"


PIEROGI ORNAMENT - $9.95

This is being advertised as the "perfect gift for the Pierogi lover." I have to disagree. I think the perfect gift for the Pierogi lover would be an actual Pierogi. Right? Yes. That is right! One other thing to note: if you read the advertisement you will notice that this ornament is being provided from a third party called What On Earth. Now there is a company who chose a perfect name for itself. 


HIGH HEEL BOTTLE HOLDER - $25.99

So. SkyMall has some fascination with mixing alcohol and shoes worn by hookers.

I have this scenario in my mind where a female SkyMall employee has had way too much wine to drink and she can no longer walk in high heels. While trying desperately to balance a bottle of wine and her wine glass, gravity kicks in and she ends up on the floor.  It's in moments like these that inspiration has hit many of us, right? With her fuzzy drunk mind she gets a brilliant idea: Why not prop the bottle inside one of her high heels? Brilliant, right? Actually no, she's just drunk.

NFL WINE SHOE HOLDER - $36.99 The SkyMall marketing team are the winners here. They know that if people are dumb enough to put wine into a high heel, they can  charge them $11 more and these same idiots will probably be willing to put their wine bottles into their favorite NFL high heels! If only Napa Valley had an NFL team, the world would be perfect!

NFL WINE SHOE HOLDER - $36.99
The SkyMall marketing team are the winners here. They know that if people are dumb enough to put wine into a high heel, they can  charge them $11 more and these same idiots will probably be willing to put their wine bottles into their favorite NFL high heels! If only Napa Valley had an NFL team, the world would be perfect!

TEAM SHOE OPENER - $17.99 But what about baseball fans and beer drinkers? Have you ever been at a baseball game and forgotten your bottle opener. Have you ever wished your wife/girlfriend was there with her bottle opener in the bottom of her hooker heels? Yeah, neither has anyone else. Ever. However, SkyMall is an equal opportunity distributor of stupid suggestions.

TEAM SHOE OPENER - $17.99
But what about baseball fans and beer drinkers? Have you ever been at a baseball game and forgotten your bottle opener. Have you ever wished your wife/girlfriend was there with her bottle opener in the bottom of her hooker heels? Yeah, neither has anyone else. Ever. However, SkyMall is an equal opportunity distributor of stupid suggestions.

THE SHOETER - $20.99   Lastly, nothing says, "I have no sense of class or culture" than a woman who starts stripping off her shoes and offers you a shot of your favorite grain alcohol directly from her high heels.    You can put this one into the category of Items With Great Names too! Whoever named this gift  The Shoeter , is well on their way to executive status at SkyMall!

THE SHOETER - $20.99
Lastly, nothing says, "I have no sense of class or culture" than a woman who starts stripping off her shoes and offers you a shot of your favorite grain alcohol directly from her high heels.

You can put this one into the category of Items With Great Names too! Whoever named this gift The Shoeter, is well on their way to executive status at SkyMall!


DOORBELL BROKEN YELL DING DONG DOORMAT - $19.95

If you show up at a house with this doormat out front, my first recommendation would be to avoid the house and the people inside. However, I would be just as willing to follow the advice written on the mat, because I guarantee if you yell "Ding Dong" really loud, that is exactly what you will find living in this house. Notice, this is not available for gift wrap. Do you know why? No one would ever think to give this as a gift to anyone else.


THE OFFICIAL 24 JACK BAUER DUAL TIME ZONE/COMPASS WATCH

Like shoes and alcohol, SkyMall has a fascination with watches and time. In this specific ad, they give you two options to "watch" your money disappear! While we are talking about watches and time, if you are inclined to buy this product you may need to recognize that it's "time" to admit 24 is finally over.


iDREAM EYE AND HEAD MASSAGER - $329.99

Look at this treasure. For the low low price of $329, you can guarantee you will remain a virgin forever. This product name was developed from this idea: "iDream what it would be like to ever get married to a real human being."


TIKKER - $79.99

"A wristwatch that counts down your life."  Are you kidding me? This watch calculates your life expectancy. Sounds like a perfect gift for a grandparent. "Hey Grandpa! It's 5:00 and time for dinner. Don't forget to get your will written."


MOUNTED SQUIRREL HEAD - $24.95

Add a touch of outdoor whimsy? It's more like add a touch of creepy. By choosing to purchase and mount this in your home, you are telling friends and family that you have stopped trying. You save 10% when you order 2 or more. Who would buy 2 of these? Who would buy 1 of these?


PUSH PUSHI RAINCOAT - Price Range: $ 39-49.95

When did rain become an issue for dogs? Did I miss a decision somewhere in the animal kingdom when we all agreed that rain was THE issue for dogs? What the hell is wrong with us? Do you know why the leash is not included? So the dog can run to a house with real owners that won't make it wear this dumbass raincoat.


HOLIDAY STRIPE COTTON PAJAMAS - RANGE $12-25.99

Finally, some Christmas junk. There are only three brief things to note here:

First, these pajamas are imported. Which leads me to ask, which country exports this and why are we continuing to practice trade with them?

Second, notice they come in Mens, Womens, Boys, Girls, Toddlers, Infants, Dogs, and Cats. Interestingly the Cats is labeled as "Not Shown" Do you know why? Because the cat in this family is not crazy like the rest of these idiots. Personally, I am very disappointed in the dog, but if you notice in the picture even the dog is wondering what the hell is going on.

Third, this is the family who will answer the door when you stand on their mat and yell, "DING DONG!"


BIGFOOT, THE HOLIDAY YETI ORNAMENT, $9.95

Just in time for the Advent season, everyone's favorite mythical creature: Santa Bigfoot! Logically, I think the Abominable Snowman is way more "Christmasey" than plain old Bigfoot, but I guess at SkyMall nothing says Christmas like Baby Jesus and the Holiday Yeti. The only redeeming value? You are wasting less than $10.



CHILD'S JUMPING BALL - $14.99

I have absolutely no issue with this item. This is actually the one thing I think is normal and I would consider buying from SkyMall for either Christian or Joe. Not only that, at under 15$, the price is reasonable. Again, no issues.

ADULT PLUSH BALL - $79.99

However, I have multiple issues with this item.

If you are an adult and you want to wear a cowboy costume and jump on a horse or a unicorn, you should probably redirect the use of your free time to figuring out some of the issues from your childhood.

I'm not a therapist (clearly), but my best guess is that your parents never allowed you to jump on the CHILD'S JUMPING BALL shown above.

My second guess is that they made you jump on this Large Weiner shown below. A childhood of weiner jumping only leads to one place, people, and that's dressing like a cowboy and paying almost $80 to jump on a horse or unicorn! 

Happy Shopping!

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

On my iPod - Artists Beginning With "S"

Styx - "Renegade" - how many songs do you recall that actually use the line "the jig is up?"  When I played sports in high school, this song is one of my all-time favorite "get pumped up" songs.  Sadly...I have nothing to get "pumped up for" anymore...

Sting - "Love is the Seventh Wave" - I loved the police when I was growing up...and Sting was one of the few performers that got even better when he went solo.  Besides that...I dig the name...Sting...how very cool to have one name (like Cher and Bono).

Steve Martin - "Dentist" - from the musical, Little Shop of Horrors.  One of my favorite dentist "clips" from a movie..."there he is boys...the leader of the plaque."

Steve Camp - "Abandoned to God" - one of my favorite Christian albums of all time.  He is anti-music establishment, plays small venues, and writes great music!

Sergio Mendes - "The Fool on the Hill" - more cheesy sixties music!

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

Stranger Than Fiction

I know this should go under a long list of theMT recommendations, but I had to pull this movie out by itself.  This is easily my favorite movie of the year and I am probably going to end up making it one i own.  it's the type of movie that requires multiple watchings to refine what it is you like about it (not like the matrix, which was just flat confusing...). 

The concept in this movie is brilliant, the cast is fantastic, and the acting was smashing.  This movie opens doors for conversation on the discussion of free will.  I don't want to spoil anything for you, because I think this movie should just be enjoyed.  But, speaking in vague terms, who is in control of your life?  Is it you or do you have someone else authoring your life?  Is there a supreme author in all of our lives?  Do you have a role in deciding each and every page of the book and how the chapter turns and twists, or are you written in and out of scenes at the will of the writer?

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

On my iPod - Artists Beginning with "G"

This grouping shows a true eclectic mixture from my iPod.

Glenn Miller - "In the Mood" - I have the entire collection, but this is the classic piece from his orchestra that best symbolizes the music from the WWII era.  I can remember hearing this every morning on the AM radio in the kitchen (KLIV - "The Music of Your Life" in San Jose, Ca) as I ate my breakfast and got ready for school.

Garrison Keillor - not music, but if you haven't signed up for the "Lake Wobegon podcast" you don't know what you are missing.  A Prairie Home Companion is one of my favorite radio shows and the highlight is the news from Lake Wobegon where "the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average."

Guns n' Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle" - so there are some things from college I cannot shake. actually I keep this song for waking up the house, pushing me that extra bit when running, or just keeping people on their toes who think they know me...

Gypsy Kings - "Bambaleo" - summertime, the back porch, and fuzz buzzes...did I mention it was almost time for peaches again?

Gene Autry - "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" - minimum playtime...one time per year...but classic

Quietly making noise,
Fletch