Saturday, February 16, 2013

Facing *My* Giants


Since I usually start working at 7 am, it means for me to get up around 5:10-5:15. But I wake up about 30 minutes earlier. So at 4:45 I am wide awake and spend time with my precious Lord. (I am following the ESV Bible reading plan for the New Testament: reading Luke now. So I begin my day with Bible reading and praying.)
My body knows when to wake up even if my mind says "it's Saturday, you can sleep longer"! So today (after having my quiet time) I had the wonderful idea to watch Facing the Giants again. This time in English - of course! (Last time I watched it with my Mom in Hungarian and I was under the influence of Courageous.)
Well... this time I could concentrate on the say far better and I did really need Kleenex within reach! The Lord broke me down and lifted me up so many times during these two hours! Several times I had to pause the film and take a moment for prayer. I even tried to encourage my friend (who is more or less diligently but unmotivated studying for her final exam at college) with quotations, scenes and songs from this Kendrick Brothers' production. (During the last couple of weeks I'm praying for her and I call her every other day or so just to ask how she's doing, how far she's come with studying and to cheer her along this way.)

In the last weeks I feel the pressing of my past... or present. The fact is I haven't finished university. There is a second thesis I need to write and a final / qualifying exam I need to pass for my education degree.
I have a good list of excuses, why I haven't started working on it yet.
- I'm sitting in front of computers 8 hours long a day from Monday to Friday and I just can't do more.
- I get up early every morning, so I am way too tired to study in the evening.
- There is always something going on at the weekends which hinder me.
- I also have other obligations and responsibilities to do... which take time.
- I'm just not in the mood to do it.
- ...
- And the biggest lie (not that I'd lie): I'm not able to write it on my own at all! (I don't get any help from my consultant. - I really have "luck" in choosing the right supervisor. Oh... whatever.)

"The problem is not the problem; the heart is the problem." My Biblical Counseling teacher from WOLBI used to say this. And again he is right.
Actually I quoted Mr. Vanderwier to my friend this week. But today morning I realized that I'm not better than she is. But rooting for her encouraged me too. I know I also need to face my giants: laziness, fear of failure and thesis.

The Lord used this movie this morning in my life.
Suddenly I feel motivated, I want to do it! I want to start just right now! (And after posting this I will! :)
I want this work to be done as soon as possible! I want to do this as unto the Lord Himself. I don't know how long it will take or when the due time is... so I'm considering even taking some days off if I had to. Keep me in your prayers, please!

Grant's concepts for the football team applies to all of life!
Concept #1. We are here for God's glory, not our own. (Revelation 4:11: You are worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.)
Concept #2: Loving God and others is the most important thing we can do. (Matthew 22:37-39: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.)
Concept #3: Give God your best in every area. (Colossians 3:23: Whatsoever you do, do it heartly, as to the Lord and not to men.)
Concept #4: God deserves our worship and praise whether we succeed or fail. (Job 1:21: The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.)

Here are some of my favorite quotations from the movie:

Grant Taylor: Lord Jesus, would you help me? I need you. Lord, I feel that there are giants of fear and failure staring down at me, waiting to crush me. And I don't know how to beat 'em, Lord. I'm tired of being afraid. Lord, if you want me to do something else, show me. If you don't want me to have children, so be it. But You're my God. You're on the throne. You can have my hopes and my dreams. Lord, give me something. Show me something. 

Grant Taylor: Mr. Bridges!
Mr Bridges: Revelation Chapter 3 says: We serve a God that opens doors that no one can shut, and he shuts doors that no one can open. He says: Behold, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Coach Taylor, the Lord is not through with you yet. You still have an open door here, and until the Lord moves you, you’re to bloom right where you’re planted… I just felt led to come and tell you that today. 
Grant Taylor: Mr. Bridges! You believe God told you to come tell me that?
Mr Bridges: I do.
Grant Taylor: I admit to you I have been struggling. But I’ve also been praying. I just don’t see him at work here.
Mr Bridges: Grant, I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain. And both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?
Grant Taylor: The one who prepared his fields for.
Mr Bridges: Which one are you? God will send the rain when he is ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.

Brock Kelley: You don't want us to win games?
Grant Taylor: No. Not if that's our main goal. Winning football games is too small a thing to live for. And I love football as much as anybody. But even championship trophies will collect dust and one day be forgotten. It's just that so far this has all been about us; how we can look good, how we can get the glory. The more I read this book, the more I realize that life's not about us. We're not here to get glory, make money, and die. The Bible says that God put us here for Him. To honour Him. Jesus said that the most important thing you can do with your life is to love God with everything you are, to love others and yourself. So if we win every game and we miss that, we've done nothing. Football then means nothing. So I'm here to present you a new team philosophy. I think that football is just one of the tools we use to honor God.
Brock Kelley: So you think that God does care about football?
Grant Taylor: I think He cares about your faith. He cares about where your heart is. And if you can live your faith out on the football field then yes, God cares about football because He cares about you. He sent His son Jesus to die for us so we could live for Him. That's why we're here. But see, it's not just on the football field; we've got to honor Him in our relationships, our respect for authority, in the classroom, and when you're at home alone surfing the internet. I want God to bless this team so much that people talk about what He did. But it means we got to give Him our best in every area. If we win, we praise Him. And if we loose, we praise Him. Either way, we honour Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm asking you: what are you living for? I've resolved to give God everything I've got. Then I'll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you'll join me? 

Grant Taylor: Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart.  If your attitude stinks, it means your heart’s not right.

Grant Taylor: Scripture says to honor your parents, and all you do is complain.
Matt Prater: All he does is boss me around. He doesn't even try to understand me.
Grant Taylor: Matt, you can't judge your father by his actions and then judge yourself by your intentions. It doesn't work that way. You're not responsible for him. You're responsible for you. You honor God by honoring your authority. 

Grant Taylor: I'm a bit nervous. It's the championship. It's kind of surreal for me.
Mark Richt: Well, I can promise you. I don't care what level of ball you're coaching; it's surreal when you make it to the championship game. And Grant, I can just tell you: I'm so proud of you and what you've done. I've been reading about the team and where you've gone, and more than anything else I'm just proud of the fact that you finally learned to win the big one.
Grant Taylor: Well, we haven't played them yet.
Mark Richt: No, you won the big one when you accepted Christ. And now that you're teaching these guys and ministering to them, I think it's just fantastic.
Grant Taylor: I got it. These players got it.
Mark Richt: Well, I can promise you: win or loose this game, you guys are champions.
Grant Taylor: I appreciate that.
Mark Richt: But while you're here, you might as well win it, eh?
Grant Taylor: I will try my best. You know, this team we're playing: they're huge, they're fast, they're strong. I just don't want my players to be afraid.
Mark Richt: Well, in God's word He said 365 different times, "Do not fear." Now if He says it that many times, you know He's serious about it, don't you? 

Grant Taylor: You are about to play the biggest team you’ve ever faced. They’re strong, fast, and undefeated… so far.  But I want you to remember where God has brought us.[…] We weren't supposed to have a winning season, but we do. We weren't supposed to advance to the playoffs, but we did. We're not supposed to be here, but we are. So if there's anything in you that says this is a loosing effort throw it out.  'Cause as I stand here I believe that as long as we honor God nothing is impossible… nothing. Give everything out on the field. Give your best to God tonight. Whether we leave the field as victors or not, we will give God the glory. Now, who will go fight the Giants with me? 

Coach Taylor: This is when it matters most. I know you're tired. It's easy to lead when you're strong, but now is when you lead! Right now!

Grant Taylor: David, I need a 51-yard field goal.
David Childers: Coach, I can't kick that far.
Grant Taylor: David, they've been stopping the run and the pass all night. You're my best option.
David Childers: Coach, the farthest I've ever kicked is a 39-yarder. There is no way I can kick a 51-yard field goal.
Grant Taylor: I believe you can. Your job is to do the best you can, and leave the results up to God. I need you on that field. 
[…]
Brady Owens: Grant, we gotta throw it. He can't kick it from there. It's too far.
Grant Taylor: No, it's not.
Brady Owens: What are you doing?
Grant Taylor: I'm preparing for rain. 

Larry Childers: I'm standing for my son!

Grant Taylor: You are state champion!

Grant Taylor: I've got something to say. David Childers. Don't you ever let anyone tell you that you're under-par, second-rate or inferior. I just watched God do a miracle through you. I saw a field of Giants, eighty-five of them to be exact, fall in defeat. Now you tell me what's impossible with God. 
David Childers: Nothing, Coach.
[…]
Grant Taylor: Are you sure? Cause those giants are big. They outnumber us three to one. Are you sure there's nothing impossible with God?
David Childers: I am sure, Coach.
Grant Taylor: How 'bout it Nathan? What's impossible with God?
Nathan: Nothing, Coach.
Grant Taylor: Jonathan?
Jonathan Weston: Nothing.
Grant Taylor: Are you positive?
Jonathan Weston: Positive, Coach!
Grant Taylor: So am I. So am I. God can do whatever He wants to do however He wants to do it. And He chooses to work in our lives 'cause He loves us. 'Cause He is good. I hope today's a milestone for what He can do for the rest of your lives - if you trust Him. 

If you haven't watched the movie yet, I encourage you to do so.



You gotta believe!

Blessings.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Vow

January 16, 2012 - I shared the news about and the trailer of The Vow on Facebook.
February 9, 2012 - The movie was released in Hungary.
February 11, 2013 - I finally could watch it. 

In a nutshell:
Paige (Rachel McAdams) and her husband Leo (Channing Tatum) are driving home. On their way at a stop sign Paige unbuckles her seatbelt to lean over and kiss Leo. At that very moment a truck rams their car from behind and Paige crashes through the windshield...
When Paige regains consciousness, she thinks Leo is her doctor, having lost all memories of the past few years. When her parents learn about this and visit her, it is the first time that Leo meets them. Paige doesn't understand why she left law school, broke her engagement with her previous fiancé Jeremy, and why she has not been in touch with her family and friends...
Paige goes back home and basically relives her past.
She faces relationship issues of her parents again, begins to sketch, leaves university, moves away from her parents...

***
I'm sure it's not easy to handle memory loss. When you don't know who you are or you just cannot remember years of your life (what happened, who you married...) But I think it was harder for Leo. He had to see the girl of his life changing the way he had never known her before.
And still he remains faithful to the committment he made and tries to earn her love again.


The movie is based on true events, the story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. It is only based, but it's not exactly their story. It's only the Hollywood version.
Their story dates back 20 years.
In an 1993 car accident, Krickitt Carpenter lost her memory due to brain injury and has never gained it back. Their vows weren't centered on the way they felt about each other but on a promise they made to one another and to God. So Kim knew her memory loss doesn't erase his love for her or the vows he took. And Kim held to his promise: "I made a vow before God. It didn't matter if she remembered me or not". Krickitt, knowing she made the vows, honored it and worked to rekindle the love they felt.
Hollywood's version of love and marriage is not the way God designed it to be. Perhaps you're not  thinking of marriage. But this applies to behavior and expectations in dating too.
It's so easy to get emotionally attached to someone and mistake it for love. Trust me, I'm experenced in falling into traps like this. And the attachment is too hard to break. But with Jesus Christ, all things are possible. With His plan for love and marriage, a happily-ever-after is promised. Doesn't sound this wonderful?
Remember how important it is to guard your heart! Take some time to pray for your future (or current) spouse! Ask God to give you the discernment to know the difference between a Godly and a "Hollywoodized" relationship!
We used the have a quotation on our wall in our first year of Bible school:
"To love someone is not just a strong feeling — it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise."
(The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm)

Happy Valentine's Day!

http://youtu.be/PybAnb7yEd8