Sunday, December 6, 2009

Precious II

Today I was driving and reflecting on the movie precious and I got a very interesting thought. Precious went through a whole lot. She was obese. She was physically abused. She was emotionally abused. She was sexually abused by her father. She was illiterate. she live in a raggedy house in a raggdy neighborhood. And, in the end, she found out she had HIV. However, despite all the bad things that happened to her, I noticed that her name never changed; she was still called Precious. I hope this encourages someone today. That no matter what you experience in life, you will alway be precious:)


Thursday, December 3, 2009

If Tyler did it, so can you

I don't know how many of you have heard Tyler Perry's story but he has come a long way. He grew up in a home with an father who was verbally and physically abusive. As a result, he tried to kill himself. He even dropped out of high school at age six teen. Furthermore, Perry's plays about Madea failed numerous time. Nevertheless, he continued to endure and he is now one of the most successful African American writers and producers that ever lived. I recently read something that said Perry made $75 million dollars, which made him close to being one of the top five highest paid men in Holywood.
I wrote this to encourage others to never give up on your dreams. It does not matter how your life started out, you can still achieve your dreams. It does not matter what oppositions you are currently facing, you can still achieve your dreams. Not only can you achieve them, but you can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all you can ever imagine. How? I wholeheartedly agree with Perry...only with the assistance of God. If God did it for Perry, he will do it for you and me. Remember, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.


Why Did I Get Married

I've heard numerous people say that "Why Did I Get Married" is the best movie Perry has every made. The short synopsis of the movie is that several married couples gathered for a weekend trip to search their soul and discuss why they decided to marry their spouses. Though most of the marriages were good, numerous "bad" things happened over time that made them ponder if they made they right decision; if they needed to stay with their spouses.
As I think about the fact that those couples raised that question in the movie, I believe God has asked himself that question billions of time. The NT Testament speaks about how God is married to the church and that we are his bride. I'm sure if any of us were to take a short evaluation of some of the things we've done just today, we would have to agree we haven't been the best partner to God. But we are not the first ones to disappoint God. The Israelites in the Old Testament did the same. In an effort explain how God feels when we do "bad" things, God used the prophet Hosea to tell the story about his cheating wife. At the end of the day, despite all the cheating and illegitimate kids she had, Hosea took his wife back because he loved her and, most importantly, because he made a covenant to remain in relationship in sickness and health, good or bad, until death do us apart.. The same is true for us. Regardless of how much wrong we do, God still loves us and he honors his covenant.


Tyler Perry, God, and Jesus

A few years ago I wrote a sermon for my youth group in which I used Tyler Perry and his numerous roles to explain God and his numerous roles. Though I know this example falls apart on so many levels, my youth still found it helpful. First, Tyler Perry conceives all of his plays and movies in his mind. He then turns around and writes the script, from beginning to end, for what he conceived in his mind. Perry then uses all of his resources to make what he initially saw in his mind come to life. What's most interesting is that though Perry is the creator, write, and producer, he is also the leading character, Madea, in most of his work. Is it me or does this help us understand God a little better? God conceived the world and everything in it in his mind. God (author and finisher of our faith) wrote the script for what he created. God then uses all of his resources to ensure what he conceived and wrote comes to pass. Finally, Jesus, God reincarnated, will forever be the leading character because he died for all of our sins. Hey, you may not like this comparison, but it worked for my kids:)


Meet the Browns

I think the Brown family is one of the most dysfunctional family I've ever seen. Everybody in the family has problems. I mean I can dedicate numerous blogs to the multiple issues with Mr. Brown. Nevertheless, I didn't write the blog to pick on the Browns, rather, I wrote thhis blog because I wanted to note that all families are dysfunctional in some way or another. Just in case you think your family has issues, consider all of the dysfunctional things prominent families in the Bible did. Abraham's wife, Sarah, gave him permission to marry her servant, Hagar, and then she turned around and tripped out on Hagar by ultimately having her thrown out the house. Lot offered his daughters to strangers in an effort to show his visitors hospitality. Jacob's brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous. Moses's sister, Miriam, dogged out his black wife behind his back. David's son dethroned his father and made him flee for his life in the wilderness. In short, our families are not the only dysfunctional families God has dealt with. The good news is that though all of these families were dysfunctional, every last one of them were still blessed and highly favored by God. All I'm trying to say is that God is powerful enough and loving enough to bless us despite our dysfunction.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Laugh to Keep from Crying

Tyler Perry allegedly has a play called 'Laugh to Keep from Crying" that is scheduled to be released early 2010. Though I do not know what the play will be about, the title, nevertheless, gives me insight into a biblical text. In Genesis 18 we learn about Sarah, Abraham's wife. There we see that angels come to Abraham and they ask him about his wife Sarah. They also inform Abraham that in one year his wife will have a child. After overhearing this conversation, Sarah laughed to herself and then she noted how old she and Abraham were--she was close to eighty and Abe was close to 100. I believe Sarah laughed that day because of two reasons. First, she laughed because she knew it was biologically impossible for a woman her age to have a child. Second, she laughed because the notion of her having a child had been a painful topic for her for many years. In that day, women who could not bear children were viewed as less than. Furthermore, because every man wanted a son--heir to his possessions--they also dealt with the pressure of knowing their husband was disappoint about their inability to have children. So, when Sarah laughed, she actually laughed to keep from crying. Her laugh didn't reflect happiness, it was deceptive symbol of her saddness. The reality is many of us do the same sometimes, we laugh to keep from crying. We have cried over somethings so long until our tear ducts are dry; it's not even possible to cry anymore, so we laugh. Well, the good news in the text is that God shows us that he will always have the last laugh. Despite her history, God made good on his word and Sarah gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. My point in this blog is to encourage everyone to never reach a point in which you stop believing the impossible cannot be done. Just as it happened in Sarah's life, I believe it can happen in yours.


Madea Goes to Jail

"Madea Goes to Jail" is one of the funniest Tyler Perry plays I've ever seen. The most hilarious part of the movie to me is at the beginning when Madea does numerous extreme crimes such as pick up a car with a fork lift and try to fight the police. Though Madea knew she was wrong, she acted on impulse and ultimately landed herself in jail.
As I think about Madea's actions I cannot help but acknowledge that bad decisions always have consequences. The consequences of Madea's bad decisions landed her in jail.
A biblical character whose life parallels this instance in Madea's life is Jonah. God told Jonah to go to a certain place to spread the Word. However, he made the bad decision to board a ship and get far, far, far away from dodge. Jonah's disobedience--bad decision--ultimately landed him in the belly of the whale, which I view as a type of jail.
The reality is many of us are in some type of "jail" situation today because of bad decisions we may have made in the past. As we move forward, I want to encourage everyone to always remember to stop and think before you act. Taking a few seconds or minutes to think before we act could mean ensuring we are able to enjoy the future freedom God intends for all of us.