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Showing posts from June, 2011

Them Dents is Valuable

I guess I am spoiled, but for a Pixar film, "Cars 2" falls a little short, if only because the bar has been set insanely high by the quality of recent masterpieces such as "Toy Story 3" and "Up".  Any comparison of "Cars 2" with other recent Pixar output just isn't fair.

Quality aside, "Cars 2" hardly seemed like a sequel. The tone, the look, and the feel are very different from "Cars". Additionally, the plot was hard to follow and a little convoluted.

Despite the flaws, this film had one shining moment; one profound line in a decidedly non-profound movie, and it was delivered by Tow Mater.

Mater, you may recall, is a tow truck who's in dire need of mechanical attention. He has a missing hood, several dents, and rust issues. He's also a lovable doofus, lacking anything that resembles sophistication.

At one point in the movie, British secret agents decide to bring Mater into their plans to catch the bad guys and sa…

Repost: Father's Day: You Don't Know My Love

Last year, I shared this little story about how God chose to show me how He wants to father me. This year, the good folks at Burnside Writers Collective took that post and published it on their site for Father's Day. So I'm re-posting it here:

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I didn't realize, growing up, the cost of not having a relationship with my father. It's only in recent years that the weight of the impact on my life has become evident to me. This new realization comes to me for many reasons. Becoming a dad is the obvious one, but in addition, it's helped that I have read several books which emphasize the importance of a dad. Finally, I've noticed several films where the main character fathers his kids, and the children have an understanding of their father's role that I never did. I have learned of a father's importance by watching dads ranging from good ones, as in "The Pursuit of Happyness," to ones who fell way short, like in "S…

Father's Day Songs, part 5: Watching You

Fatherhood is captured in song and in movies as well as any topic that's ever been written about. In the days leading up to Father's Day, I'm highlighting five meaningful songs about the impact of fatherhood. Some will come from the viewpoints of the dad, some from the child,and some from both.

As everyone from Donald Miller to John Eldredge has pointed out in recent years, telling a great story is the best thing a person can do, and many great stories are told in 4-minute snippets.

If you are not a fan of country music, you likely have not heard of Rodney Atkins or his song, "Watching You". Many who don't like country music simply don't like the twang. While I understand the sound is not for everyone, this song is for everyone. You simply must ignore the presence of the twang for 4 minutes, and listen to the story.
Like most of the Father's Day songs in this series, "Watching You" is autobiographical. His son really did get in trou…

Father's Day Songs, part 4: Leader Of The Band

Fatherhood is captured in song and in movies as well as any topic that's ever been written about. In the days leading up to Father's Day, I'm highlighting five meaningful songs about the impact of fatherhood. Some will come from the viewpoints of the dad, some from the child,and some from both.

As everyone from Donald Miller to John Eldredge has pointed out in recent years, telling a great story is the best thing a person can do, and many great stories are told in 4-minute snippets.

Today's song, "Leader of the Band", by Dan Fogleberg, is an autobiographical masterpiece. In it, the genuineness is indisputable. In less capable hands, this could have been a real stinker, but it turned out to be a gem.


These 5 songs are posted in no particular order. This is the fourth of five posts.
See the previous installments in the series here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 5

Father's Day Songs, part 3: The Dollar

Fatherhood is captured in song and in movies as well as any topic that's ever been written about. In the days leading up to Father's Day, I'm highlighting five meaningful songs about the impact of fatherhood. Some will come from the viewpoints of the dad, some from the child,and some from both.

As everyone from Donald Miller to John Eldredge has pointed out in recent years, telling a great story is the best thing a person can do, and many great stories are told in 4-minute snippets. Today's song, "The Dollar", tells a good story.

This is the least-known tune on my list. Jamey Johnson, a country writer known for composing several tunes for others, sang this one himself. If you hate country music, and especially don't like the strong twang that's present in "The Dollar", I ask you to set aside your preferences for just 3 minutes, because this is a story worth listening to.


These 5 songs are posted in no particular order. This is the…

Father's Day Songs, part 2: Dance With My Father

Fatherhood is captured in song and in movies as well as any topic that's ever been written about. Over the next few days, I want to highlight 5 meaningful songs about fatherhood. Some will come from the viewpoints of the dad, some from the child,and some from both.   As everyone from Donald Miller to John Eldredge has pointed out in recent years, telling a great story is the best thing you can do. And many great stories are told in 4-minute snippets.

I am not Casey Kasem, so these are in no particular order. This is the second of 5 posts.
See the first one here.
See part 3 of this series here.

The first few times I heard "Dance With My Father", I wasn't paying attention. It sounded a bit generic and not appealing to me. One day, I decided to really listen, and I am glad I did. It's moving without being manipulative. It's emotional without being melodramatic.  Drop your multi-tasking and let the story play out:


Father's Day songs Part 1: I Loved Her First

Fatherhood is captured in song and in movies as well as any topic that's ever been written about. Over the next few days, I want to highlight 5 meaningful songs about fatherhood. Some will come from the viewpoints of the dad, some from the child,and some from both. This is not a Casey-Kasem-like countdown, so I don't want arguments about which is best. There is no ranking. Just enjoy. ;)

 As everyone from Donald Miller to John Eldredge has pointed out in recent years, telling a great story is the best thing you can do. And many great stories are told in 4-minute snippets.

"I Loved Her First" is a stellar song, written by a friend of mine, Elliott Park.  The band who sings it, Heartland, barely has local-band talent, and never achieved any other success before or after this single. But the fact that a band like that, on a small label with no promotional budget, could achieve a huge hit just goes to show what a powerful song this is. It tells a great story.

The next so…

CD Review--Rejoice

Women of Faith conferences have released another CD, simply titled Rejoice. As a member of Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program, I was provided a free copy for review purposes.I'm free to be as honest as I want in these reviews.
The recordings are live, taken from a two-day Women of Faith event. The event has speakers and teachers, but also has a Women of Faith Worship Team to lead attendees in worship.
The song list:
Beautiful RedeemerSo GoodForever ReignCome As You AreHosannaOur GodGlory To GodYou Brought the SunshineGreatness of Our GodGreat Is Thy FaithfulnessIt pretty much sounded like what you'd expect. Not bad, if you're into that sort of thing.

Our Florida Trip: The really good stuff

In part one, I described the Disney and beach aspects of our trip, which were planned. But the most interesting reading could be a recount of the other two parts of our vacation.

3. In 1986, I lost an uncle, and my young cousins had lost a dad. Michel, the young widow who had 3 little kids to raise, plus one on the way, moved from Texas to Florida, where she was from. She eventually remarried, but we had lost touch. I had recently found my cousin Heather on Facebook, and we had agreed that we should all meet while we were there.

This was, by far, the best part of the trip. Heather has gone from a little 4-yr-old that I barely remembered into a great young woman with kids of her own.  Michel, my aunt, brought her husband, who is battling a newly-discovered physical ailment which threatens to make Michel a widow for a second time. She and I had a great, in-depth discussion about the past, the effects the loss of their father had on the kids as they grew up, and a summary of what God is …

Our Florida Trip: Part 1

Our family went to Florida for vacation, returning just last week, and very little went as planned, but that's OK. It just meant that there were many interesting stories to tell.

The plan was to visit Disney World for three days, then go to Cocoa Beach for 3 days. What we ended up with was 4 distinct portions of the trip, and what follows is a brief description of each:

1. Disney:  The first day was Epcot. I was less than impressed. But I had been to Six Flags just a month earlier, and was ready for some thrilling rides, and Epcot's not about that, although Space Mountain was pretty fun. I had been told that Magic Kingdom was better, and it was, as we found out the next day. Our last day, we went to the Hollywood studios park, and although I am sure I'm in the minority, I have to say I liked it best. It had two rides more like thrill rides: The Rock n Roller Coaster, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  Most Disney rides were inside and failed to meet the criteria that …