Saturday, January 27, 2007

This is what I've been saying!

I've been hooked on Brennan Manning and didn't think I could like him anymore than I do. Then he goes and mentions Springsteen in context of religous views that I totally share. In chapter five, "Cormorants and Kittiwakes" in his book, THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL, he wrote as follows:

"Grace abounds in contemporary movies, books, novels, films, and music. If God is not in the whirlwind, He may be in a Woody Allen film or a Bruce Springsteen concert. Most people understand imagery and symbol better than doctrine and dogma. Images touch hearts and awaken imaginations. One theologian suggest that Springsteen's Tunnel of Love album, in which he symbolically sings of sin, death, despair, and redemption, is more imortant for Catholics than the Pope's last visit when he spoke of morality only in doctrinal propositions. Troubadours have always been more important and influential than theologicans and bishops . . . . The gospel of grace is brutally devalued when Christians maintain that the transcendent God can only be properly honored and respected by denying the goodness and the truth and the beauty of the things of this world."

Incidently, I had no idea that this statement from Manning's 1990 publication existed when I pointed out the spiritual elements of "Two Faces" from the Tunnel of Love record in my previous post: Bible/Song Meld in May, 2006.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

So not colorblind

Yesterday I was listening to a brief news story/summary of the Academy Award nominations on public radio. I forget what station it was, either KPCC, KPFK, or KCRW (89.3, 90.7, & 89.9 respectively in Los Angeles), one of those. So the reporter tells us what all the nominations are and then has to say, "There are a good number of African-Americans nominated this year as well" and then she mentions Forest Whitaker, Djimon Hounsou, Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson. As if that matters! Why are "we" as a society still doing this? Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of not being judged by the color of your skin cannot be realized until we can have people like this reporter on public radio actually STOP pointing out the differences in race. Why aren't Whitaker, Hounsou, Murphy, and Hudson, just good actors as opposed to African-American actors? I think most of us would find it ridiculous to say, "It's very nice that we have a two Mexicans, an Irishman, and a Japanese person nomiated this year." I used to think that being "colorblind" was something that we were striving for, but the more I actually pay attention, I don't think it's happening. Why do we continue to construct these barriers? Maybe it's just me.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

O'Toole's Oscar Nomination

O'Toole holding his honorary Oscar in 2003

I told myself I wasn't going to post about the Oscar nominations that came out today, but I just couldn't help myself. Hands-down, the thing I am most excited about is Peter O'Toole is up for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He's nominated for his role in VENUS which I've yet to see. It's only playing in two places in L.A. as of this writing. Yet, he's my favorite actor and I'd love to see him win.

This is O'Toole's eigth Academy Award nomination. He's never won. Right now he's tied with Richard Burton for the most nominations with no wins. If he loses this time he'll sadly hold the record for the most nominated actor with no wins. In case you're not too familiar with O'Toole, here's what he was nominated for in the past:

BECKET (1964)

Here's what happened: in 1962 he lost to Gregory Peck for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; 1964 lost to Rex Harrison for MY FAIR LADY; 1968 lost to Cliff Robertson for CHARLY; 1969 lost to John Wayne for TRUE GRIT; 1972 lost to Marlon Brando for THE GODFATHER; 1980 lost to Robert DeNiro for RAGING BULL; 1982 lost to Ben Kingsley for Gandhi. (Just for the record here I want to say that O'Toole really should have been nominated for his performance in LORD JIM in 1965, of all his non-nominated roles that one stands out as something for which he should have been nominated.)

What's cool is O'Toole was given an honorary award in 2003 for lifetime acheivement. At that time he said he didn't really want it because he was still in the game and thought he could win one of the litter buggers outright. Few people thought he'd ever be up as leading actor again.

It's impossible to express just how much joy I've gotten out of this guy's performances over the years. I'm pulling for him.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cathedral in the Woods

The loudest noise I've ever
is the voice of God
It shouted to me from atop
a log in the forest
I closed my eyes
trying to escape into
but His sun illuminated
even the abyss behind my eyelids
when I was truly motionless and
even the melting snow
made noise
A chipmunk on a blanket of
dry leaves drowned out
the sun-soaked remnants
of winter
and the strange cackle
of the hidden fowl
vied for my ears
I squinted and
strained silent and
still desperate for a
mystical high
I found something more:
The voice of God engulfing the
shouts of nature.
This is what He said: Trust me
and love with reckless abandon.
No one who hopes in me
ever lives to regret it.

--Shenandoah Lynd


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Up In Flames

The greatest day of
my life was when I
came to myself and
found nothing there
I knocked on the
door to the cabin
of self-righteousness
I had constructed
in my heart and found
nobody home
I ransacked my memories
and found nothing
except a note on the
"I'm loveable only because
He loved me"
is all it said
I recognized my own
handwriting and stood
finally free
I burned the place down
and danced into
the woods

--Shenandoah Lynd


Monday, January 08, 2007

The Deeper Teachings

Way back at the beginning of last year my friend sent me a link to this on-line sermon that he thought I would enjoy. I'm telling you he sent me this like a year ago and it's still affecting me! I had listened to this particular message a couple of times back in 2006 and I've thought about it a lot since then and even mentioned it to a few people. Then, today, I started thinking about this message again and I replayed it.

Here's what I love about it. He says people at his church ask him, "What about the deeper teachings?" His response is, "If you mean deep as in more confusing and more detailed, then you are at the wrong church!" He says, "This is as deep as I know: Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you."

I'd love for you to go to hear this message from Andy Stanley at North Point Community Church. You can go directly to the Sermons Online. Then, You will have to scroll way down to 1/15/06 for the message that says "OUR HOUSE: Imagine, Part 2" and click on that one. You will really enjoy this. It's worth the listen.

He says, "Spiritual spiritual maturity and depth has a whole lot less with how much you know than with how well you love." He focuses on Christ's statements and says it all comes down to LOVE. It's a good reminder. Check it out.

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Friday, January 05, 2007


As many of you know, my younger brother, Mark, is in prision right now. I have been really enjoying communicating with him via letters. I just opened another letter from him a few moments ago. It was dated 12/31/06. I never thought I would share something from his letter on this blog because it would be personal. However, there is a passage from him that moved me so much I have to share it. I thought it would challenge you to really think about your blessings. For me, these words my brother wrote not only made me think about my blessings, but also my attitude. I also don't want God to have to put me behind bars to make me realize that I am free each and every day to read his Word and spend time with Him.

Here is what Mark wrote:

"I am able to read the Word of God everyday in prison while in other countries they face prison for opening the Bible. Some may think or say my freedom was taken from me for a short time, but I beg to differ. I am free to pray, to worship & study my Savior's words. I think that is the only freedom that really matters. I am looking out the bars to the outside yard and can see the awesome creations that were made for us all to enjoy, just like you and your family looking at the Grand Canyon."

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

In My Neighborhood

Sitting on a brick wall,
the wind blew through
my hair and saved my life.

The boys let accusations fly,
"You're out!" I am reminded,
you take life way too seriously.

God beckoned me upward,
crows warned of coming black clouds,
a hawk drifted effortlessly.

A child's remote-control
reminds me of how I have
given up the illusion of my dominion.

In light of that reminder
I don't even let "Be careful" slip out
as my daughter contemplates a leap.

Jangling bells from her sister's handlebar
seem to reveal a secret:
"Childhood is sacred" the rhythm sings.

Two doors down, piles of brown newspapers
offer a mystery. Vacation? Illness? Just busy?
I decide they're too happy to read the news.

--Shenandoah Lynd


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

"Diane, Let's Pre-Order This"

It's a happy day for Doah! I just received my e-mail alert from that TWIN PEAKS: SEASON TWO is available for pre-order now. The long awaited DVD set will finally be released on April 10, 2007!

Definitely in the running as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, this David Lynch masterpiece ran from 1990 to 1991 and those of us who lived from week-to-week for the next installment during it's first run, have wanted all 30 episodes available on DVD for quite some time now. It looks like it is finally going to happen!

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but for us TWIN PEAKS fanantics, it's more than a big deal. You see I have the season one box set. That came out six years ago in December, 2001. With only four discs, it contains only the first seven episodes. There were only two seasons so this next six-disc set will have the remaining 23 episodes!

Think of my poor wife: she has only seen the first seven episodes. The last thing Chrisy saw was Cooper getting shot three times at the Great Northern! I cannot imagine wondering: "Who did it?" and "Will he live?" This, of course, is wonderful for me, because watching season two with a newbie will bring a whole other really cool dimension to my viewing, sort of like bringing an E-Street-virgin to a Springsteen show!

The amazing thing is that TWIN PEAKS is actually only the second favorite of my Top Ten Television Shows. My first all-time favorite, PICKET FENCES (1992-1996), has never been released on DVD. Until now! That's right, David E. Kelley's gem is coming out in February. Cool year for me.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007


So the Oscar nominations for the 79th Annual Academy Awards are going to be announced 21 days from now. I just want to say that if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has any testicular matter left in them, they would nominate Mel Gibson as Best Director for APOCALYPTO. Will they shy away because of his anti-Semitic rant and outsider status or honor this masterpiece of a film? We'll see on Tuesday, January 23rd.

So, have you seen APOCALYPTO? What did you think?

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Monday, January 01, 2007


My rabbi made outlandish claims;
"The Father and I are one."
Imagine that,
the sculptor of the Grand Canyon,
a twelve-year old boy
being scolded for
wandering too far.
I don't know what's
more unfathomable
the receding Pacific Ocean
or the mercy of its creator.
I can more easily
wrap my mind around
the red rocks of Sedona
than I can a fresh attitude
exploding within my chest.
Even as I ponder this
I hear the preacher's words,
"It's never too late to be
what you might have been."
But, then again the Nazarene
also said, "I make all things new."
Indeed He has.
My heart and this day.

--Shenandoah Lynd