Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Way: Life is Too Big to Walk It Alone

I love movies that dig deep into the human experience and cause me to reflect on my own life. Emilio Estevez’s new movie “The Way” is no exception. Estevez directed and wrote this movie which his father Martin Sheen stars in. The film tells the story of Tom (Martin Sheen) who travels to France to pick up the body of his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) who died on pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.

Tom is an opthamologist whose life lacks meaning and purpose. His wife has passed away and his relationship with his only son Daniel is not a good one. On the golf course, he receives a call that will change his life. His son has died and he needs to pick up the body in France. The viewer doesn’t really know why but Tom decides to take the same pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient path to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain where it is said that the bones of the apostle James lie. Many people travel this trail for many different reasons. As Tom travels this path, he slowly realizes that the Way is not meant to be traveled alone. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot of the movie, but Estevez does an excellent job of exposing our need for community.

I don’t like movies that preach. One of my frustrations with “Christian” movies is that the message is so over the top. This movie is deeply spiritual but it does not preach. At one point Sheen’s character says that he isn’t religious and the person he is talking to tells him that the journey on the Camino is not a religious one. There is a deep difference between religion with all its rules and guidelines and the experience of spirituality. As I have read through various articles it is obvious that the themes of this movies come from Estevez’s own spiritual journey.

In an interview with Tim Kelly, Estevez says, “I’m still on a journey. I’ve yet to declare myself in terms of religion, but I think there’s no question I’m on a spiritual journey. As we all are. And I’m very much in touch with it, in ways that surprise me daily.” Read more of this interview here.

I would highly recommend this movie. Watch it twice. Watch it with someone and talk about it. Your spiritual life will be deeper because you watched this movie.

Here is the trailer for the movie

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Staying in the Fire

From Youth Specialties' Worship Backgrounds

When hard times and trials come I always want to run away. Selfishly I would much rather take the easy route. I want following Jesus to be easy.

Ever had one of those moments when God uses others to speak his words in way that you know God is speaking directly to you? Last night Hillary and I watched this message from James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Church.

James writes, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

God uses circumstances and trials to test our faith. As MacDonald explains, the Greek word translated as “perseverance” gives the idea of remaining under something. When we “remain under” God’s authority and trust what he is doing, our faith becomes mature. Following Jesus was never meant to be easy.

God wants us to stay in the fire.

Prophetic Innovation

Taken from apple.com

I feel like a close friend has died and those I want to mourn with are far away. Upon hearing of the death of Steve Jobs, my heart sunk. The world will not be the same for quite a while. For me it seems like a personal loss even though I never met Steve Jobs.

For two and a half years I had the awesome opportunity to sit under Steve Jobs’ leadership and enrich lives in an Apple Retail Store. From the very beginning we were told that we were involved in changing the world and making a difference in people’s lives through technology. Working at an Apple Store was a special experience. A family was formed. Now that our leader has passed away I feel far away from my family members who I want to mourn with. But thankfully the devices that Steve designed help me feel closer.

In Apple Retail we were not just selling cold pieces of technology. We had the joy of seeing Steve’s products connect people together and enrich the lives of those who purchased them. I could tell story upon story of customers who purchased a Mac or an iDevice and how those devices connected them to their family and friends in very real ways.

What did Steve Jobs have that sets him apart from other innovators and CEO’s? I believe Steve Jobs had what I call “prophetic innovation.” He knew what we wanted before we could even articulate it. Whether it was the Apple II, the iPhone or the iPad he prophetically knew what people would want and designed it for them. He saw a future and designed technology for that future. I love selling products because I know that when people go home and plug them in, they will be hooked. The products sell themselves.

I think Apple will weather this sad loss in stride. Apple is very good at developing new leaders and encouraging leaders to train up a “bench” of talent to step up when there is a transition. Apple is much different than it was in 1985 when Steve left Apple for the first time. Steve has raised up other prophetic innovators to take the torch and run with it. But the world will never quite be the same without Steve Jobs.

We miss you already Steve.