Archives For hollywood

My friends Roy and Rachel Roper reposted this video on Facebook not long ago and I was surprised that I had not seen it since it occurred a year ago. Please watch this short 2 minute message before you read further. You will see that it speaks for itself.

I believe it took a lot of humility from both Robert Downey Jr. as well as Mel Gibson to publicly live through pain. Hollywood sure knows how to produce drama on-screen as well as off. In the past twenty years, both of these actors have thrown stones at others as well as had them thrown at them. And they paid a terrible price through broken families, damaged careers, health, and legal troubles. As Gibson put it, they have both “hugged the cactus” in life. Most of Hollywood abandoned them in their time of dire need. Thankfully, we all love a comeback story and I think scenes like this show us that grace can happen in the most unlikely places, especially Hollywood. I was in tears witnessing what real loyalty, forgiveness, and love looked like through their stories. God was not done with their stories yet because grace was at work.

This video makes me ask tough questions of myself.

  • Do I stand up for my friends?
  • Do I ‘really’ forgive those who have hurt me?
  • Do I really understand grace?

There are times when I’ve felt like I’m in life’s rut thinking it will never get better. Look back at your life and I’m sure there have been times when you may have felt the same. I am thankful I haven’t been in such an extreme position as Downey Jr. and Gibson but their stories are a beautiful illustration of God’s grace.

Thank God we don’t have to hug the cactus forever when our savior is always there for the warmest hug. Grace is always the best hug.


I hope you get the idea from reading this blog that I love movies.  I am developing multiple lists of movies to share with my children someday.  When I was a kid I remember being exposed to several powerful movies for the first time.  I was inspired by some of them and some of them haunt me until this day.  My mother and I joke now but when I was eight years old I first watched Platoon (1986).  Although a fantastic Oscar worthy film, most would agree it’s hardly one to introduce to an eight year old.  To this day mom keeps apologizing about that, which makes me laugh and I then remind her that I turned out just fine.  As that semi-innocent eight year old, I dreamed of being a soldier. I think she felt that me watching Platoon would provide some perspective about what the military could look like. Yep, after a couple of hours of Oliver Stone’s Vietnam, that was enough for me to abandon that ambition. (Thanks mom?)

Like anything in culture, each person has their own filter in what they are able to absorb.  We can be molded by the world so I have become quite self-conscious on how my worldview is formed.  It is a reminder that the world can be scary. I’m a parent now and my wife and I are trying to figure out what our kids should absorb when it comes to education and entertainment.  Recently my kids (2 and 3) and I were watching Aladdin and it is one of the darkest kids movies I’ve seen. In fact, most Disney movies are like that I’ve noticed. I recently read about The Top 26 Most Disturbing Kids Movies by  Is your young child watching one of these?  My wife has usually been the wise one to ask the question,

“Should the kids be watching this?”

In your mind you think that it is a great movie about heroes, villains, and a family uniting to save the world.  What is wrong with that? Wait…but they hit and the even (gulp), kill the villain.

The tension is strong because we don’t just want to expose our kids to just fairy tales.  We want them to be inspired but also see what real life looks like.  One of my favorite Christian thinkers and commentators of culture is Phil Cooke.  In his recent blog, The Change Revolution he noted,

After all, if we filmed the Bible, much of it would be R-rated, and occasionally worse. The Bible doesn’t gloss over real life and God apparently wasn’t afraid to tell real, authentic stories. I think the culture would respect our message much more if we stopped producing just cheesy, G-rated films and started telling gritty stories about real life.

Should we sugar coat life?

My check as a parent now is questioning “what, when, and why” I should introduce when it comes to entertainment, learning, etc.  Most parents would agree that the book To Kill a Mockingbird has a life-changing message that every child should read.  But I’m challenged to rethink when the girls are ready for such an important message.  Most importantly, I am are challenged to pray for the wisdom to figure this out on a daily basis. Romans 12:2 cautions us to never forget that we must go ultimately to God for this discernment.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

What was the most disturbing movie you first watched as a kid? 

If you are a parent, how do you filter what you share with your kids?