LIFEMARK the Movie

Welcome back my beloveds! I’ve missed you! How was your summer? I’m not sure my mini-sabbatical achieved anything more than a little break in scheduling. Not much has changed. Creatively speaking and blog mind-ed anyway. Nonetheless — here we are — musing with you again! And what better way to start than a little movie review?!

It almost didn’t happen. Due to some “technical errors” (okay it was me, I was the technical error) I missed my chance to premier the new collaboration of the Kendrick brothers (Facing the Giants, Overcomer) and Kirk Cameron (Fireproof) CURRENTLY IN THEATRES. But… thanks to my friends at GrafMartin and their promotion team, the crew and I squeezed it in. Chips and Salsa included.

Currently Showing in Select Theatres in Canada!

Celebrating life and adoption, David (the main character) gets tossed into the thick of it when his birth mother reaches out to find him after his eighteenth birthday. It’s a story of reconciliation, connection and family. It tackles some tough topics and makes some hard, faith-based lines when it comes to abortion and choosing life. Consequently, it put the Kendrick brothers in a little hot water when it came to Hollywood. Unapologetically, the true-life story celebrates the joy of adoption and the potential for family joy, so the brothers pushed forward and it has arrived in theatres in both the US and in select theatres in Canada. Rather than pushing the grusome details of abortion clinics, the wholesome film focuses on the potential for celebrating life. It’s a chance for us to stand up and support faith based movie makers and their projects (go see it in theatres, people!). All the while filmed by David’s best friend: “for the documentary”. Key the socials and all that bloggers hold dear.

Personally, the movie pulled all my mom heart strings. I sympathized with both the birth mom, and the adoptive mom. I’ve felt both helpless loss and sat in that chair as they present you with “options”. Thanks to the grace of God, I’ve also experienced all the joy a new life brings. In one sense, the movie glossed over a lot of those crazy mixed emotions… but you can’t capture that it a few hours.

Maybe she just looks good in yellow…

My kids were convinced that the film makers had a hidden agenda in the actor’s choice of clothing colours. Why was there always a yellow and blue complimentary colour in every scene? I think they’ve been in media class too long. Maybe Rebecca Rogers Nelson just happens to look good in yellow. They did pick some great actors, though. The resemblance to the real life families are remarkable. And Nate was just super cute as David’s sidekick and amateur film maker. I wanna see the original “documentary” that led to the full length movie. His high school humour broke up the intensity of the emotional rollercoaster that makes LIFEMARK a classic Kendricks brother movie.

So there you have it. Today marks the beginning of another round of mittonmusings. And LIFEMARK pegs the date David’s birthmom made a difficult decision and chose life. Check out #LIFEMARKmovie or @FaithFilmsCA for more or better yet, go see it in theatres… it’s playing now!

Life is Messy

Oh, my friends! What a world we have come to live in! Not only have we only just begun to crawl out from under a global pandemic, our own country has faced huge discord among its people in recent weeks, resulting in freezing assets, misguided information, and rally cries for dissension. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Europe has gone to war. Power-hungry men are puffing up their chests in attempts to gain … something. And the innocent are suffering. I have no words. In fact, I skipped a week or two of posts because I am beginning to question it all. Do words have value anymore?

Is it worth my two cents if I choose not to post my personal views and take sides? Is it worth it to “remain neutral” and bring some light-hearted script to encourage when the world is in such darkness? Last week I received a new book on the Psalms (check out my Instagram reel here) and I am looking forward to doing some doodling as I delve into it. The Psalms were never my go-to book. I think King David was a bit bipolar. His words always seemed far too “up and down” for me. One minute praises — the next, deep laments and evil wishes to dash his enemies. Recently I heard this about the Psalms: that you don’t truly know the light until you’ve been in the dark places. I suspect that is a very true statement. And the Psalms hit it on the head.

A couple weeks ago was my eldest daughter’s birthday. Now, she will be the first to admit that her culinary skills are not top-notch. She has a few basic recipes under her belt and she is happy to repeat them week by week. However, she wanted to try a few new things for her birthday dinner. Fine. No problem, sweetie, I will help you shop for ingredients and make a few suggestions, but the work is yours. The food was great. Everything tasted wonderful. The problem with amateur chefs? My kitchen was a disaster! Every dish, every appliance, every spoon and platter was well used and left for dead on every counter space left available. Sigh. These are memories. We can clean up later.

Life, like cooking, is sometimes messy. Challenges abound. Sometimes we have to be under fire to grow, change and “glow”. Life is not meant to be perfect and predictable.

“Governments make plans, but the Lord checks them. He does not let people do everything that they want to do. The plans that the Lord makes will always happen. His ideas will always be with us.”

Psalms‬ ‭33:10-11‬ ‭(EEB)

It’s pretty clear — God doesn’t let people do everything they want. The governments — and the common people, make plans; plans they think are best, but only God has the last say. None of us have been through this life before. We cannot predict the outcome or guarantee that our methods for living will be the most ideal ones. We are like my daughter… following the recipe hoping we interpret the instructions well, and that our efforts will somehow resemble the glossy picture in the book. More often than not, we create a fairly good tasting, but messy delectable delight. This world is full of sin and it’s going to get messy. Life with God will require patience. But God is infinite and promises to bring good out of the mess. 

Photo Credit: Do it yourself from Scratch on WordPress

Perhaps you are like me, tired and at a loss for words about all the things that have been weighing on the world lately. Maybe it has lit a fire under you and your faith has been made stronger in the face of opposition. Maybe you are just trying to eat some good-tasting stuff and will deal with the clean-up later. Take heart to the assurance that “the plans that the Lord makes will always happen” and I don’t think He’s done with us just yet. Be blessed with the journey, friends.

Match Game

Welcome back, friends! Have you noticed that I have a little theme going on these past few weeks? I didn’t intend for it to happen, but my muses seem to be going “back to basics” as I think about such simple objects… pencils, snowflakes and this week… the simple match stick. I was cleaning out a cupboard recently and found a collection of matchsticks. The box was nowhere to be found and they were scattered all over the bottom of the (one of many) junk drawers in my house. I’m discovering how crazy complex seemingly simple things are. Worth a post or two, I am discovering, as I look up content. Anyway, back to the junk drawer matches. As I gathered them up, I wondered if I needed the original box. Turns out, I may. Apparently, there is a difference between the cheap, safety box o’ matches a la dollar store, and the “strike anywhere” matches via the old movies where the cowboy lights his pipe on the bottom of his cowboy boot.

It comes down to the calculation of complex chemical reactions. And a little friction and fuel. Our safety matchbox holds that strip along the side. The strip contains red phosphorus and teeny bits of powdered glass. The tip of the match stick contains sulphur and a bit of wax (plus the wood of the stick itself). Here’s where the magic happens: match strikes the box, friction via the bits of glass create heat, heat changes the chemical composition of red phosphorus to white phosphorus, white phosphorus is highly flammable and reacts to the oxygen in the air to create heat… the heat is fueled by the oxygen and the wax and sulphur and: poof! FIRE!

Photo by Yaoqi on Unsplash

All of this happens in a fraction of a second. The strike-anywhere matches have all the chemicals contained in the match head… making them a “quick fuse” shall we say? And therefore labelled as “dangerous goods”. They are hard to find easily on the shelves and are accompanied by the appropriate safety guidelines nowadays. Don’t play with matches, kids! My hubby loves a good fire. He’s a big kid when it comes to that mesmerizing flame. The bigger the bonfire the better. Maybe the box is out by our firepit. Currently drowned by the snow. Probably safer there.

I read recently that following Christ is a lot like building a fire. We receive salvation in an instant… like the matchstick igniting. But the matchstick will quickly die out if a fire is not tended and fueled. At first with kindling and tinder. Quick lessons ignite our passion when we first come to faith… we are “on fire”. Then, our journeys slow down and we slow burn for a while… we take time to eat away at the big logs and rejoice that burning embers make for good marshmallows. Yet, without stoking and refuelling, even a giant bonfire with eventually burn itself out. We must continue to fan the flame in our hearts… but the good part is, God is there to help along the way! His word is a constant catalyst for the fire in our hearts. And it never gets used up.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

I’m finding it hard to keep the kindling hot during zoom calls and online. Despite the lockdowns, my time gets eaten up with other things than personal Bible study. I want to go to concerts, retreats and conferences. I want to meet with other believers who can fuel my fire and ignite the glowing embers of my heart. Still, simple match sticks are complex enough to bring forth a flame on the tiniest of toothpicks. And it only takes a spark to set a whole forest ablaze. Perhaps I need a bit of patience. Or a really good marshmallow skewer and a bit of time to revel in the sweet goodness of burning embers.