Finding Dory and The Importance Of Being Forgetful

thumbnail_24066By the end of “Finding Dory”, the latest wildly successful, hilarious, and heartbreaking Pixar movie, it starts to become clear that the forgetful blue tang’s memory is stronger than she realizes.

Throughout the film Dory is sparked by flashbacks of her childhood and the brief time she spent with her loving parents before she was fatefully separated from them.

It’s not clear exactly what type of condition causes Dory’s forgetfulness. She claims to have short-term memory loss, but I’m not sure a marine biologist or any other underwater doctor would diagnose the problem quite like this.

I think Dory’s problem is actually more like one many of us can relate with. Her issue isn’t with her ability to remember; it’s with what she chooses to remember.

Throughout the film we learn that Dory’s memory is stronger than it might first appear. What she truly struggles with is her self-esteem.

Though she puts up a brave front with her “just keep swimming” mantra and a positive facade, it becomes clear that Dory blames herself for becoming separated from her parents.

She’s not even sure if she finds them that they’ll want her back after making such a colossal screw-up.

Dory struggles to remember the love of her parents as well as her own positive traits. She has no problem, however, remembering her own failures and faults.

She’s not the only fish in the sea who suffers from this type of memory loss. 

After all, it is so much easier to remember a mistake than to remember God’s grace, isn’t it?

How often do we look in the mirror and see the filthy and outdated reflection of our sins rather than the new creation washed clean we have become through God’s grace?

God repeatedly tells us that He does not remember our sins. He forgives them and tosses them aside. He separates us from them as far as the east is from the west. He buries them with our old lives and leaves them there never to be dug up again.

Why is this so hard for us to remember when we stray from the Lord?

When we wander away from God we blame ourselves. Instead of recalling God’s many promises of love and forgiveness the memories of our previous sins wash over us like a rising tide.

Just like Dory we are afraid our Father will look down on us for our mistakes.

We forget that the story of the prodigal son shows our Father welcoming us with a warm embrace and having no desire to dredge up the memories of the past.

As the movie reaches its climax, Dory must learn to conquer the negative memories and remember more positive feelings about herself.

This is where Dory’s forgetfulness comes in handy. Only now she must forget her false identity created by self-doubt and instead choose to remember the oceans of love and the grace shown to her by her friends and family.

Being forgetful is actually an important part of our faith. But we must be mindful what we are forgetful of. 

Instead of forgetting God’s many promises of forgiveness and love, we ought to be forgetful of our sins. We should believe we have truly been forgiven just as the Lord says we are. We must see ourselves as the new creations in Christ that our Father sees us as.

Let us choose then to be forgetful of our failures and just keep swimming in the midst of God’s grace.

 

The Beautiful Compassion Of The Record Store (A Post For Record Store Day 2016)

View More: http://jbltphotography.pass.us/alexandkateA trip to the record store these days is an act of compassion. 

Sure there are plenty of new releases out on vinyl. In fact vinyl records are the fastest growing sales segment in the music industry.

But most record stores fill the majority of their shelves with vintage LPs. These are the records that get traded in by people who have no use for them anymore.

Maybe they inherited a collection from their parents or grandparents and they’re just not that into music. Or maybe they’ve played the records a million times and just aren’t into the bands anymore. Or maybe they thought vinyl died out 30 years ago.

For whatever reason they don’t see any use for the old Cat Stevens or Doobie Brothers albums. They look at vinyl records as an outdated format just taking up space in their attic.

Yet when I and other collectors come in to a record store we see the value in the classic pieces of wax. Continue reading

The Master’s Invitation

masters invite

CBS Sports

I think the most beautiful thing about The Masters tournament is that once you win, you’re in for life.

One of the coolest aspects of the tournament is seeing all of the past winners come back and compete year after year. It doesn’t matter how old they are or how competitive they’ve been in other tournaments. If you’ve won a Masters Tournament before then you’re allowed to come back and compete in every Masters Tournament after that.

Not every golf tournament works this way. For most other tournaments you must qualify to be able to compete. You have to be playing at a top level to be extended an invitation to play.

But there is no expiration date on the rewards of a Masters victory.

This too is The Master’s Invitation to us – once you win, you’re in for eternity. Continue reading

The Story Never Ends

(It’s WrestleWeek on POP GOD! In celebration of WrestleMania 32 this Sunday we’ll be looking at the intersection of faith and wrestling. You don’t have to be a fan to hop in the ring on this journey. Read on to see how this fake sport provides real lessons for anyone who’s ever grappled with God.)

wm main eventOn Sunday April 6th, 100,000 people of all ages, races, genders and nationalities will congregate upon Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. This happening could possibly set an indoor attendance record. The fans crowded in will scream and cheer for 6 hours until the main event where 2 middle aged warriors will set foot in a predetermined battle inside a structure known as “Hell In A Cell”.

This, my friends, is WrestleMania.

If you’re not a wrestling fan this must seem bizarre to you. How is that professional wrestling can possibly draw so many fans to its biggest attraction? How is that the WWE Network is one of the top 5 streaming video services in the world? How is that WWE’s signature show “Raw” has been on the air for over 20 years and over 1,100 episodes?

The answer is actually quite simple. It’s all because in pro wrestling the story never ends. Continue reading

Chasing The Championship

(It’s WrestleWeek on POP GOD! In celebration of WrestleMania 32 this Sunday we’ll be looking at the intersection of faith and wrestling. You don’t have to be a fan to hop in the ring on this journey. Read on to see how this fake sport provides real lessons for anyone who’s ever grappled with God.)

WWF Belt“Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Jake “The Snake “Roberts. The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Razor Ramon. Mr. Perfect.

What do these wrestlers all have in common?

They’re all iconic performers. They’re all WWE Hall Of Famers.

And none of them were ever World Champion.  Continue reading

God’s Announce Team

(It’s WrestleWeek on POP GOD! In celebration of WrestleMania 32 this Sunday we’ll be looking at the intersection of faith and wrestling. You don’t have to be a fan to hop in the ring on this journey. Read on to see how this fake sport provides real lessons for anyone who’s ever grappled with God.)

jerry-lawler-jim-rossOne of the most underrated and important aspects of what makes pro wrestling so great is the announce team. 

From my personal favorites of the early 90s Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan to the Attitude Era staples Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler, the best pro wrestling commentators truly take the in-ring spectacle to another level.

I once dreamed of being a pro wrestling announcer (ok I still do). I had my own toy headset that I would wear and call the action on my old WWF videos and with my action figures.

But being a great pro wrestling announcer isn’t as easy as simply calling the action in the ring. The best commentators share a few common traits: Continue reading

How To Create A Wrestler

(It’s WrestleWeek on POP GOD! In celebration of WrestleMania 32 this Sunday we’ll be looking at the intersection of faith and wrestling. You don’t have to be a fan to hop in the ring on this journey. Read on to see how this fake sport provides real lessons for anyone who’s ever grappled with God.)

IMG_7739I spent a lot of time during my formative years playing wrestling video games. 

The first one I ever owned was WWF Royal Rumble for the Super Nintendo. It was a pretty basic game – as most were back then – with 10 or so characters that all could do pretty much the same moves. Still, I played it for hours on end.

Video games evolved over the years and thus so did wrestling games. From WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64 to WCW Nitro for the Playstation all the way up to the WWE Smackdown Series for PS2 and beyond.

With new systems came expanded rosters of characters, new match types, better graphics and in-depth story modes.

Without a doubt the greatest feature ever added to wrestling games was the Create-A-Wrestler feature.  Continue reading