Posts filed under ‘Chandler Wallace’

The Book of Eli

Let’s just pretend for a moment that we knew that civilization was about to end in a nuclear holocaust.  Then let’s pretend that we could run and hide in some cave or shelter until all of the dust had settled.  We would have to live in this cave for a few years until it was safe to come out again.  If we only had a few minutes to get into the cave, what would we take with us… pictures, the family pet, your iPod or maybe granny’s old quilts?  What items would we try to protect at all cost?  What would be the most important thing that we would need to start over?  Money would be useless,  so what would we place a high value on?  The first things that you would think of would be things like food, water and shelter.

But where would we turn for inspiration?

Now imagine that all of the Bibles in the whole world have been destroyed and you happen to find the only remaining copy in existence.  How far would you go to protect it?  When law and order has disappeared, what lengths would you go to to protect and spread the Word of God?  Would you give your life for it?

The movie “The Book of Eli” is set about thirty years in the future, about three decades after a massive nuclear event has taken place.  Eli is played by Denzel Washington.  Eli is a strong man of faith and he is on a mission to protect the very last Bible on planet earth.  He is a peaceful man, but he knows that the book he carries is the only hope for the future, and he will protect it fiercely.

The villain in the film is a man named Carnegie, played by Gary Oldman.  When we first meet him in the film, he’s reading a book about Mussolini, and not just because he’s bored.  He’s already appointed himself as mayor of the town and has gained some control and authority over his little village that is trying so desperately to rebuild itself.  Carnegie believes that the Bible has power that could benefit him because of its controlling effects on people.  But Eli isn’t giving it up.

I personally thought that this was one of Denzel’s best roles ever!

The film is rated R and contains very graphic violence and some strong language.   I would NOT, repeat NOT RECOMMEND IT FOR CHILDREN.  You may be wondering why I would recommend it for adults.  I believe that this is a film that has some very strong messages about trusting God and about how and why we should study God’s word and about how we should live out our faith.  Setting aside the violence and language, the story of a man protecting the last Bible on earth would make anyone watching this film consider what they would protect with their life.  What would we be willing to live and die for?

Personally, I want to support filmmakers who explore the questions about faith in their films.  Especially the ones that do it without turning faith into some kind of punchline or joke.  For me, choosing to see this film is telling Hollywood filmmakers to keep on making films about unshakable faith in God.  It’s also telling them that I will continue to buy tickets to films they create about topics that Christians believe in.   I may not always agree with their thoughts and ideas, but what I do agree with, and what I do get excited about,  is Hollywood filmmakers researching the Bible to make a film.



February 12, 2010 at 2:51 am 1 comment

A simple trip to Lowes…

It has been almost four weeks since we lost our friend Martin Seibert.  I have to say that this has been one of the most difficult times that I have ever been through.  There have been so many moments while I have been walking around our church, that I can almost hear him laughing or hammering away at a project.  I keep expecting him to walk into the worship office to see if I have any hot coffee ready.

Martin was the kind of person that would do anything in the world for you.  He was the person you called if you had car problems, water heater issues, electrical troubles, roofing leaks… or if you just needed someone to talk to.  I remember a few years ago while I was on a mission trip to Turkey, I received a frantic call from my wife, telling me that our A/C was on the fritz.  What could I do?  I was on the other side of the world.  I called Martin and explained the situation.  He simply said “Don’t worry, I’m on my way and I’ll take care of it!”  It gave me great comfort in knowing that he was around if I ever need help.  That was just the type of person he was.  He was also an incredible friend.

Well, Monday I happen to be in one of Martin’s favorite stores…Lowes.  As I was approaching the checkout line, there was a young woman cashier standing behind the register.   She has been working at Lowes as a cashier for several years and I have been through her line countless times.  As I made it to the front of the line, she looked at me and smiled and asked ” Where’s your friend?”.   I was sort of stunned.  I was pretty sure who she was talking about, but I just replied “What friend?”.  On numerous occasions Martin and I had been in Lowes together while working on various projects for the church and she obviously remembered that He and I were friends.  She kind of laughed and said “You know, the big guy with glasses.”   I asked her “Do you mean Martin?”  “Yeah”, she said, “I haven’t seen him in a while”.

My heart immediately sunk in my chest.  I knew what I was about to have to tell her and I really was not looking forward to it.   I began to tell her about what had happened a few weeks ago and I explained to her how I believed that Martin was in a much better place.   As I was talking she began to get very emotional and I soon found myself trying to comfort her.  I was starting to think about how awkward this situation was and then she began to tell me about how Martin had touched her life.

She told me, that about two years ago, she was going through the most difficult time in her life.  She was pregnant with her first child and was unmarried and on her own.  She went on to tell me about how scared she had been and about how she really didn’t know what she was going to do at the time.   One day, while she was working at Lowes, she had been having a really difficult day and had been worrying and crying about her situation.    She told me that Martin came into the store early that morning and had noticed her crying behind her register.  He approached her to see if she was okay.  He talked to her for a little while and tried to comfort her.  He promised her that he would pray for her and he even invited her to Valleydale Church.  She said that after they were done talking,  he walked out of the store as she began to check out the other customers.   After just a few minutes had gone by, she said that Martin came back in the store and handed her an envelope with $200 in it.  He said “I just want you to have this!” He turned and walked out of the store.  She said that nobody had ever done anything like that before in her life.  She also told me that she was a Christian and she said that God had used Martin to bless her at a time when she really need emotional and financial help.  That was just the kind of person that Martin was.

Far too often today we forget God’s desire for us.   We love it when God is blessing us but we can often neglect our call to be a blessing to others.   Christ, of course, blessed us first, so that we may be a blessing to others.  The impact we make in a simple gesture of generosity and kindness, comes back to us and gives our life extra meaning,  and at the end of our days we can look back, knowing we have helped someone experience God’s love.  It is a truly beautiful, Godly feeling.  And it doesn’t have to be some monumental thing. Simply holding the door open for someone else or complimenting them can have an enormous impact on that person.

Give it a try this week.  See how many ways you can bless others and then take note of all the wonderful things God does in your life.


February 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm 6 comments

Technology: Where do we go from here?

The new iphone!

The new iphone!

I am sitting here in my kitchen trying to figure out to to properly embed a vimeo video onto our Valleydale website and I begin to think back. I began to realize just how far technology has come in the last 10 years and how much we rely on it.

The internet as a commercial venture is less than 15 years old and today the possibilities are endless. Especially considering we’re probably at the Model T stage. The Internet we use is only 13 years old; the Mac, 25 years old; personal computing, about 30 years old. The practical gas-powered automobile was created in 1886; Mr. Ford introduced the Model T (not his first car, by the way; he had at least three earlier models, starting in 1903) 22 years later. Just as no one could have predicted the enormous impact the automobile has had on society, so, no one can predict just how far the Internet will stretch.

I remember my first computer. It was a Commodore 64C (basically a really jazzed up Atari). No real hard drive to speak of, 124K of ram, 320 x 200 resolution and it could play a mean version of PONG. Only $875, Wow! Now for $9 I can buy a thumb drive that has more storage that the earliest supercomputers. My iphone has more processing power than the computers that launched the first men into space. HD video looks so real now that my cat will stare at it like she is ready to pounce on any small animal that runs across the screen. And for less than $100 I can buy a video camera that produces a better image than most TV stations were outputting 8 years ago.

And I ask you, where do we go from here?

Check out this vid – Steve Jobs Introduces the MacIntosh

Chandler the Valleydale Tech Geek!

May 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm 3 comments

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