Friday, March 24, 2017

I Can't Eat That.

So y'all, I love apple pie. LOVE IT. It's superior to both peach and lemon. You'll never convince me otherwise. IT IS FACT.

So what would happen if some sweet neighbor lady (because we live in an amazing neighborhood and it's basically a 2017 version of Mayberry) bakes me an apple pie and brings it warm from the oven to my house with a half gallon of Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell (again, superior to all other store bought ice creams- there is no room for debate) a cuts me slice that would make Paula Deen proud but JUST AS I WAS ABOUT TO TAKE MY FIRST BITE tells me that during her assembly a roach crawled into it and bless her heart, she tried- but she just couldn't get it out.

But she promises me it was a teeny, tiny roach and that I'd really, REALLY have to look hard to find it, and that if she would have never told me about it before I ate it I'd probably miss it all together- Do you think I'd still eat it? Do you think I'd still feed it to my kids? Ain't no way. You can come over and have a slice and be our guest, but I'll have to pass.

Y'all, the same idea applies to the entertainment I allow I to my house. I've got to be better and finding, digging out and getting rid of those hidden roaches that are sneaking around out there. Because as small and insignificant and supposedly harmless as people tell me they are- A ROACH IS A ROACH IS A ROACH. And I'm not gonna eat it.

Now when all is said and done, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I'm gonna pour some Community Dark Roast over a spoonful of that Blue Bell she brought me over because Ice Cream Coffee is like manna from heaven.

Go try it and see if I'm wrong...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

CAN I Be Their Guest??

In a recent interview, director Bill Condon has shed light on Disney's plans for their first homosexual character/plot line in the upcoming live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. 

Let's talk about it.

Here's the thing: I've spent untold and countless hours degrading my mind with garbage in books and on TV and through social media. I was Downton Abby's biggest fan and they included homosexuality during the very first episode. Friends and Seinfeld are two huge favorites of mine and they are both filled TO THE TOP with premarital sex and promiscuity. Don't even get me started on the hilarity that is Anchorman or Bridesmaids. (I'm ashamed to even admit how funny I found those movies.) And man y'all- even Andy Griffith includes the town drunk, Otis, bless his heart. 

There is and has always been some level of sinful behavior displayed on just about every television show/film produced nowadays. (Except maybe When Calls the Heart. Nerd alert: I love that show!) And some of those shows are soon good and well written and fun to watch- I totally get it. I do. It's so hard! So see here, friends- I'm chief of all y'all when it comes to filling my mind with images and situations that are pointless, empty, degrading and vile. I'm like the Paul of awful past television/entertainment choices. And that's what makes drawing a line in the sand with this movie so hard because I feel like one ginormous hypocrite.

My heart is broken! And y'all, I hesitate to even publicly take that position because I'm worried that there will be friends and family who will fear that I'm gonna judge them with an all seeing eye if their decision about the film is different than mine. 

So please hear me now: Pick it or Pass- I will still love you.

And y'all, as far as Beauty and the Beast: This "gay moment" could range from overt to subtle and I'm sure that at the end of the day, I will have seen way worse on cable television but here's the thing: THERE HAS TO BE A LINE SOMEWHERE and for me, Bill Condon just helped me draw it.

I don't know where your line is- that's the beauty of you having your own individual faith. I'm not going to sit here, drink my 4th 5th cup of coffee for the day and tell you that you can't go see a movie that's got a man struggling with the temptation of same sex attraction. I can't split that hair and condemn you for watching something with that particular sin and then justify my watching a show that deals with a different sin like drug addiction or gluttony or premarital sex because sin is sin is sin. I'm not going to start nitpicking through exactly what is or isn't appropriate for you to watch on television because by doing that I'm taking away your free will and turning myself into a legalistic judge and jury. And that ain't right!

I will say, however what I've realized for myself today- that going to a movie or watching television or reading books that normalize sinful lifestyles and glorifies choices that are in opposition to my beliefs as a Christian is wrong. That's where my line is. You've got to seek out your line for yourself just like I did for me earlier this morning. (And it wasn't easy. I recommend a Bible opened up at Paul's letters to the early church, a cup of strong coffee and some cookies. The cookies are because I may eat my feelings sometimes.)

Here's the kicker, y'all: The thing that's affecting me more than opting to skip this beautifully shot adaptation (I'm pretty sure I'm responsible for at least 17,925 individual YouTube views of the trailer. SO PRETTY.) of my most beloved childhood movie is how drawing this line in the sand will affect my FUTURE entertainment choices. I don't want to be lame, or backwards, or out-of-touch, but something's gotta give! I can't keep filling my mind with situations that paint sin as socially acceptable or fornication as love. I realize that my Netflix queue is going to be drastically reduced. It stinks. (Especially now since they've pulled Murder She Wrote.) I've still got lots more pruning to do on my heart. My conscience has been pricked today and I'm still not sure how deeply it goes so I'm going to have to keep digging.

So let's turn down the instinct to judge others' movie and television choices and let's hone in on our own hearts. Let's dig into The Word and focus on what He tells us and decide for ourselves where our own lines are. Start in Galatians 5. Drop the accusing finger pointing and use that energy to find your own balance- I know that's what I'll be doing.