I’ll Never

Everyone has a pop culture blindspot.

Whether it’s for lack of time or lack of funds or just a general lack of interest we all have those movies or tv shows or books that it seems like everyone in the world has experienced except for us.

spectre1208141280jpg-398894_1280wOne of my biggest pop culture blindspots is James Bond.

This may come as a shock to you, but it’s true – I, a 29-year-old red blooded movie-loving male, have never seen a 007 movie.

I don’t really know how it happened. Maybe watching wrestling satisfied all my testosterone needs in pop culture. I don’t have any moral objection to the Bond series.

If someone were able to make a case for wanting to show me one of the movies I think I would sit down and watch one. But there’s no way I’m going to ever dive through the entire Bond history.

At this point in my life I know I’ll probably just never start watching a James Bond movie on my own. I’ve come to the realization that – even with hopefully many more happy and healthy years in front of me – I just can’t experience everything this world has to offer.

With the amount of quality entertainment in the landscape today and the incredible ease of access we have to it, at a certain point you just have to resign that there are some pop culture phenomena you’re never going to get around to experiencing.

I’m ok with never watching a James Bond movie. But there are some things that I’m not ok with never doing. Continue reading

3 Plus Ways To Reboot Your Relationship With God

Are you suffering from reboot fatigue?

It’s a new phrase for the current entertainment landscape where it seems you can’t get on Twitter without reading about a new reboot or remake of a classic TV show or movie.rebootsystem

You’ve seen the stories about shows like “Full House” (now redubbed “Fuller House”) and “The X-Files” coming back to our screens. Shows you didn’t even realize anyone cared about are being relaunched for a new generation to not really care about them all that much.

(Me? I’m just over here waiting for a new “Double Dare” series. Come on – we need more Super Sloppiness on our screens.)

Though I may be suffering from a little fatigue from reading about reboots and relaunches and remakes every day, that doesn’t mean they’re a bad thing.

You might say they’re just a side effect of our MORE MORE MORE binge watching culture. Instead of being satisfied with a great story we demand another and another.

But I think something deeper is going on. I think the reason we love reboots and remakes is because we are relational. Continue reading

The Real Lip Sync Battle

Who knew watching celebrities lip sync popular songs could be so entertaining?

There’s no denying watching Tom Cruise and Jimmy Fallon serenade an audience member on “The Tonight Show” with “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” is hilarious. Watching other famous folks dance and pretend to be pop stars is what’s made the spin-off series “Lip Sync Battle” the surprise TV hit of the year.

“Lip Sync Battle” works because it’s fake. We obviously know The Rock doesn’t sound like Taylor Swift. Seeing him pretend to is so ridiculously over-the-top fake – which is what makes it so funny and fun to watch.

Lip syncing is tremendous fun. But it’s also easy and ultimately fake entertainment.

Anyone can lip sync their way through a song. It’s entertaining enough at first. In the end though it doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

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Continue reading

The 3 Practices Pixar Can Teach The Church

insideoutNo movie company has ever had a run of success like Pixar.

Starting with “Toy Story” in 1995 all the way up to their latest production “Inside Out” (which is on track to be possibly their biggest film ever), their success rate has been unprecedented. Even their worst movies (like oh, I don’t know, “Cars” maybe) are still pretty great.

As someone who’s been on the Pixar bandwagon since seeing “Toy Story” in theaters 20 years ago, I’ve seen 3 clear reasons why this movie company has been so incredibly successful connecting with kids from age 5 to 105.

I think if churches put these 3 Pixar practices into place we could be more successful in connecting with our audience as well: Continue reading

What The Church Can Learn From The Masters

IMG_4995This is the first time in over 20 years I won’t be spending Masters Week as a resident of Augusta, GA. I have to admit I’m missing the sights and sounds of the spectacle. It’s the biggest holiday on the calendar for the city.

If you’ve never lived in Augusta, there’s nothing really to compare Masters Week with.

I guess the closest thing would be to when a city hosts an event like the Super Bowl. But even then it’s a different city every year.

For 7 days every year the city of Augusta totally transforms. Washington Road becomes the golf capital of the world. Golf Carts are lined up in front of every business. Even members of One Direction show up.

Corporations take over abandoned buildings and parking lots and turn them into pop-up party tents and memorabilia shops. Thousands of residents flee the city, renting out their homes to tourists and travelers and the golfers themselves.

For one week the city of Augusta becomes a spectacle. Then, the Monday after the tournament, everything goes back to normal. Continue reading

Why I Don’t Like The Taste Of Communion

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

I was always nervous about Communion Sunday growing up. 

When I was young I wasn’t sure if I should take a cracker from the plate or keep passing it down the aisle. Sure, I was hungry, but was I really allowed to “come to the table” as the pastor would say?

Then, once I did feel comfortable participating, I became nervous about spilling the juice. What if I soiled the carpet in God’s living room with Jesus’s blood?

Communion never meant much more than anxiety to me growing up. I never really got the relationship between a flavorless cracker, a baby shot glass of grape juice, and the immense sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

I thought to myself, “If the life Jesus offers is so full and abundant, why is this remembrance and celebration so stale and bland?” Continue reading

When Is It Ok To Compromise Your Beliefs?

photo-11The greatest compromise a man and woman will ever face is on Movie Night.

Men and women are genetically predisposed to enjoy different movies. It’s a scientific fact. Or something like that.

Women wonder why “How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days” didn’t win an Oscar. Men question why every movie isn’t produced by Marvel.

My fiance and I have worked out a pretty common compromise to avoid Movie Night fights. We usually take turns picking out the movies we watch together.

Of course this means she often has to slug through quirky indie movies the critics love but are really just plain weird. And I fall asleep through cheap horror movies that belong on SyFy. But, you know, love and all that.

I believe a movie should be more than cheap thrills and entertainment. I want movies to transcend entertainment and move me emotionally and other nonsense.

Sometimes our movie choices flop. When she picks a bad movie I get a little angry that I wasted a couple hours of my life to watch a crappy film. I feel like I compromised my beliefs. Continue reading

The One Phrase The Church Needs To Retire This Christmas

394824_10152361249895427_1009312309_nIf a bell rings and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

If a Salvation Army bell ringer stands outside a department store all day and not a single cent drops into the bucket, was it really worth the ringer’s time and effort?

If a church holds a rally and not a single soul gets saved, was it worth the church’s time and effort?

Many of us have been to a church-sponsored camp, revival or other event where we heard a speaker attempt to rouse a reluctant crowd, saying, “If only one person chooses to follow Christ tonight, then all of our work here will have been worth it.”

But what if no one came forward that night? What if no one chose to give their life to Jesus at that rally? Was the work still worth it? Continue reading

Why The Church Should Not Evolve

blockbuster_1250Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

The video store is dead.

This is not really news. The video store has been on life support for years. And in some rural communities Mom and Pop movie rental shops are still hanging in there.

But after years of fighting a terminal, self-inlicted disease, Blockbuster finally decided to shutter its final 300 stores. Continue reading