Have you seen Lion? It’s a heart-rending biographical drama adapted from the non-fiction book, A Long Way Home. Lion premiered last fall at the Toronto Film Festival, is PG-13, and has an 8.1 IMDb rating. If you’ve been adopted or have adopted…if you’re a foster parent or have grown up in an orphanage, Lion will break your heart, but it might also help heal some of the pain that haunts most people who’ve grown up without knowing their biological parents. The story begins back in 1986, where little five-year-old “Saroo,” lives in Khandwa, India with his mother, older brother, and younger sister. Saroo and his brother steal coal from trains to trade for food, but one night Saroo is so tired that he falls asleep at the train station rather than helping his brother. Through a series of misadventures, Saroo ends up lost on the streets of Calcutta, many hundreds of miles from home. In fact, he doesn’t know the name of his hometown…or even his full name! He survives many frightening episodes before a kindly man helps him get to an orphanage, where he learns some English and is later adopted by a couple in Hobart, Tasmania. The story picks up again nearly 25 years later, when Saroo, as a young adult, sets out in search of his lost family. Although I wouldn’t recommend the movie for children (at least until you’ve viewed it first), it is a very moving account that brought out a visceral response in me…I felt the horror of lostness, the fear of strange adults, the hunger, the loneliness, the pain…the relief…the deep, lasting grief. I came away feeling like I’d experienced a tiny taste of what it might be like for the millions of children abroad—and at home—who’ve grown up without the loving support of their parents. I’ll never meet someone who has been orphaned now without feeling more compassionate toward them. It’s one of those movies that has a lasting impact.
“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy“
(Psalm 82:3).“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,
To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
(The photos are a combination of two real pictures of Saroo as shown at the end of the film, plus images from the movie, Lion.)
Posted in Biographies, Grief, Inspiration, Memoirs, Movie Reviews
Tagged 000 children go missing in India each year, A Long Way Home, Fact: over 80, James 1:27, Psalm 82:3, Review of 2016 movie Lion, Story of Indian orphan who looks for his parents, True story of small orphan from streets of Calcutta that's adopted by couple in Tasmania, What can I do to help orphaned children?, www.lionmovie.com
After our visit to the Biltmore Estate, I wanted to learn more about the Vanderbilt family, and I discovered a really fascinating (but gut-wrenching) 5-hour historical documentary mini series from 2012 called The Men Who Built America. The series has an 8.7 rating on IMDb, won a lot of awards, and is really worth watching, if for no other reason than to inspire you to avoid oppressing those who are under you, in the work space…or anywhere else, for that matter!The Men Who Built America traces the transformation of America from the post Civil War Era to World War 1, focusing in particular on the lives of four incredibly driven, innovative, and wealthy men: Cornelius Vanderbilt (who connected America via ships and railroads), Andrew Carnegie (who developed the steel industry, opening the way for bridges, skyscrapers and city scapes not only in America but throughout the world, making him one of the richest men on earth), John D. Rockerfeller (who founded Standard Oil and holds the record for being the richest man who’s ever lived, with a net worth of 392 billion [adjusted for inflation], and John P. Morgan (wizard of corporate finance and industrial consolidation in America). At the end, the series also touched on the life of Henry Ford (founder of Ford Motor Company who developed the assembly line technique for mass production). I was mesmerized and horrified at the same time. The first four men were innovative geniuses who worked ceaselessly to build industrial empires. Their work did profit America as a whole, but they were also ruthless cut throats who became incomprehensible rich by oppressing the poor laborers who worked for them. Although they became amazing philanthropists near the end of their lives, I found myself feeling frustrated and outraged by their abuse of power. Why didn’t they share their wealth with the thousands (millions?) who worked for them? In stark contrast, Henry Ford paid his employees about 2.5 times the going wage, provided safe working conditions, and established the 5-day, 40-hour work week. Ford still became plenty rich, but he was so much better as an employer! As the stories unfolded, it occurred to me that the richest men were so busy competing with each other and oppressing everyone that it didn’t even seem like they were enjoying their lives. Today is no different! If every business owner paid their employees a living wage and shared profits more equitably, they could still be wealthy enough to enjoy an abundant life while providing abundant lives for their employees too. How is it that as a nation we’re so consumed by greed? Can we change the men who are building America now? Can we do better, one employer at a time??? As a nation, can we vote in legislation that provides a living wage for every employee who works a 40-hour week?
“Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them” (Psalm 62:9-10).
Posted in Biographies, Charity, History, Inspiration, Movie Reviews
Tagged Back story on Thomas Edison, Biographical sketch of Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockerfeller: The World's Richest Man, Psalm 62:9-10, Review of The Men Who Built America, The life and legacy of Andrew Carnegie, The value of being a good employer, The virture and brilliance of Nikola Tessla, Who is the richest man in the world?, Who was John Pierpont Morgan?
The Case for Christ is based on the true story of Chicago Tribune journalist,Lee Strobel, and his search for the truth about Christianity. Back in 1980, Lee (played by Mike Vogel) and his wife Leslie (played by Erika Christensen) were livin’ the dream…self-proclaimed atheists, in love, and enjoying life together with their daughter. However, their world started to unravel after their daughter nearly choked to death and Lee’s wife became a Christian while attending Willow Creek Church. Intent on restoring their marriage to its former simplicity and peace, Lee began a two-year investigative journey to debunk the Christian myth: the death and resurrection of Christ.His research took him around the country, where he interviewed leading experts in various fields: archeology, theology, psychology, and medicine. The Case for Christ traces Lee and Leslie Strobels’ journey from atheism into faith. If you’ve ever wished you could believe in Christ but haven’t been persuaded
of the veracity of the resurrection, please consider watching this movie (or read the book Lee wrote). It’s also really encouraging for those of you who might be believers
but have spouses who do not believe. PG, 84% (audience score) on Rotten Tomatoes, great acting, excellent script. Nothing embarrassing or unprofessional,
so you won’t need to hold your breath if you invite someone to see it. And, it’s probably showing in a theater near you right now! In truth, I’ve only been to a theater for anything besides a private showing
twice in the last 55 years: once to see The Passion of Christ,
and yesterday to see The Case for Christ. So, you can tell what means the most to me! Believing in Christ,
who loved us and gave himself for us, is right at the top!
“Declare and present your case;
let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none besides me.
“Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.”
(Isaiah 45:21-22, ESV)
Posted in Biographies, Book Reviews, Christianity, Current Events, Inspiration, Movie Reviews, Relationships, Thoughts on God
Tagged 2016 January Blizzards in America, 2017 The Case for Christ movie review, Chicago Tribunel, Dr. Alexander Metherell, Dr. Gardy Habermas, Dr. William Craig, Erika Christensen and Leslie Strobel, Lee Strobel's journey to find the truth about Christ, Mike Vogel as Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ
Seven years ago, on April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon exploded into a firestorm that could be seen for 40 miles, resulting in the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Deepwater Horizon was an offshore drilling rig that had successfully drilled the deepest oil well in history (over 10,000 ft. deep) in the Gulf of Mexico just a few months earlier, and on April 20th, the crew of 126 were hard at work testing the new well at Macondo Prospect, forty-one miles off the coast of Louisiana. Deepwater Horizon cost almost a million dollars per day to operate with equipment and crew, and although there were issues with safety, the project was over a month behind schedule and overdue at a new site, so the decision makers decided to test the well before they were sure all the work was properly completed and all the concrete had time to cure. The movie dramatizing this disaster is excellent and rated PG-13, but it is so graphic (and bad language) that I recommend it with caution. As one who’s inexperienced with the technical side of oil drilling, it was somewhat hard to follow what was happening, but the message was crystal clear: Often those who take the risks and make the decisions are not those who suffer the greatest consequences for their greed and irresponsible selfishness. Eleven men died, scores of men suffered, and the responsible companies ended up spending not millions —but billions—of dollars trying to recover and compensate for the damages. As we make important decisions, let’s remember that if we choose selfishly and unwisely, we’re not just going to hurt ourselves, we’re likely to do more damage than we could ever possibly imagine. “But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! (Psalm 81:11-13)
God’s Compass, a 2016 release from Liberty University’s Cinematic Arts program, is truly outstanding. To my mind, it’s one of the best yet in the Christian film industry, particularly in the areas of acting, pacing, and script. Had I been an actress, it’s a movie I would have been honored to have been in! In fact, it even got a 7.2 rating from IMBd. The story follows the life of a retiring high school principal, Suzanne Waters, who goes immediately from celebrating her retirement to coping with a series of crises surrounding the birth of her first grandchild, trying to help a juvenile delinquent (and her overly busy surgeon son), solving a mystery, and processing the recent death of her beloved husband. There is definitely some suspense, and there’s a humorous plot twist,
but there’s also a great lesson to be learned. By faith, Suzanne perseveres in in making godly, gracious decisions (which appear absurd by human reasoning), and there’s a warm and wonderful happily-ever-after ending
that made me sigh contentedly and lifted my spirit. God’s Compass: Finding Your True North,
affirms the rightness of following God through dark and difficult circumstances and sacrificing for the sake of others, only to find that joy awaits
those who are willing to put the needs of others ahead of their own. And, isn’t that the Truth? It’s certainly been true in my life. Besides all that, there’s no sex, no violence, and no profanity! 🙂I just loved it, and I’m already looking forward to their next release, Extraordinary. Way to go, Stephan Schultze and the Christian film industry!!!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Posted in Aging and Retirement Issues, Encouragements for Living, Health Issues, Inspiration, Movie Reviews
Tagged Family friendly good movie, God will direct you if you'll ask, God's Compass 2016 Movie, Jazelle Foster as Jessica Waters, Joey Ibanex as Eli, Karen Abercrombie as Suzzane Waters, Liberty University's Cinematic Arts, Proverbs 3:5-6, Quotes by C.N. Spurgeon and Andy Stanley, T.C. Stallings as David Waters