CUT!  TAKE 26!

wood 2My son-in-law, Michael Greenholt, and Bob’s brother, Doug Jones, are both in “The Industry”.  Now, to me the word industry (lower case “i”) conjures up mental images of 3-M, Lilly Pharmaceuticals, or General Motors; but then, I’m from the Midwest.  Bob and I quickly learned that “The Industry” in southern California meant that which is the bread and butter for a large portion of the populous: the silver screen. 

My kids’ Uncle Dougie as “Abe Sapien”. As you might imagine, this gave me some street-cred with my middle school students… (photo: Wikipedia)

It’s actually a fascinating business for an outsider-looking-in.  Mike took us into one of his work spaces and we were mightily impressed with his expertise and artistic skill as an animator.  Naturally, we have followed Doug throughout his career as a prosthetics actor, and some of his stories of being under the heavy get-ups that can take HOURS to put on are pretty hilarious!

So when we go out West to visit, we inevitably run into writers, stage people, and those who are in various strata of “The Industry”.  I still know so very little about the process, but I now have at least a small concept of part of it (and am certainly willing to stand corrected for those in-the-know…):

First, there is a story, perhaps from a book, which then is followed by the screen-writer who puts in much of the blocking and movement, which is followed by the actors who get “into character” and learn their lines, but who are then instructed by the director who tells them how he wants certain things to look, albeit it make takes several times for the players to get it just right as the director thinks it should be.  (Naturally, this doesn’t preclude some personal interpretation on the actor’s part, which leaves their own distinctive stamp on the roll—who else but Ian McKellan could play Gandalf, I mean, really?!)   At last the producer shreds much of the film onto the cutting floor and picks out only those pieces he thinks makes the movie just right, those things that will remain as the true story.

Ah, that life should be so clear cut….

And yet, to a degree that we are not fully aware of (yet), this is very similar to what God is doing in our lives. 

God, the Ultimate Author, has given me a unique story, as well as all the other players with whom I have to interact throughout my life.  God is also the Director who guides me until I get it just right, which can unfortunately mean several “takes”, (or sometimes, more than several…) This doesn’t mean He expects me to be a robotic automaton; quite the contrary, He has given me a personality with nuances that lend special “flavor” to my roll.  (In other words, He wants me to play me, not someone else!)  Finally, and this is truly amazing grace, there are parts of my life that (thankfully, gratefully) end up on the cutting floor so that the final reading in the Eternal Filmfest with that “great cloud of witnesses” will read just like He wants it.  In fact, He’s just so good at what He does, sometimes He even allows that editing to happen on this side of eternity as well—check out how Abraham’s wife, Sarah, is set down in history as a woman of faith in the book of Hebrews compared to the historical account in Genesis!  Now, that’s heavenly production at its best.

“The Lord will work out his plans for my life—

for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever…”

I’m in for as many takes…as it takes.

Psalm 138:8  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

In other words…


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

No dead end

wood 2

City traffic can be a bit baffling.  I have yet to upgrade my brain from paper maps and road signs to GPS.  I suspect that, even with the spooky little disembodied voice, I’d still have some difficulty and occasional confusion navigating my way around some cities with all the one-way streets, dead ends, and whatnot.  I’m from Indianapolis, so one would think; but alas, I was born and bred a suburbanite, and therefore, city traffic still befuddles me.  I’ve ridden with cabbies in both NYC and London.  I hear it takes several years to Continue reading “No dead end”

Now,…just who was Deborah?


I get somewhat intrigued by what we would normally consider “obscure” comments in the Bible.  I’m of the inerrant/infallible school of theology, not that I don’t have plenty of questions for the other side of eternity.  Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop me from trusting the Author for what’s in the Book, even if some of its contents keeps me scratching my forehead. 

So here’s one of those parts to the story of the patriarch Jacob and his burgeoning family that I find interesting:

“Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means ‘oak of weeping’).”

I was curious why God put a little honorarium to this Continue reading “Now,…just who was Deborah?”

Blogging Blast #6: I like big BUT’s (not a typo…)

animals-985500_1280(So just what is a Blogging Blast??)BLOGGING BLAST #6

“Your mother’s great-uncle-twice-removed named you in his will, but…”

“Everyone gets an extra vacation day this year, but…”

(And one of my personal favorites): “I apologize, but…”

Sometimes we only want to hear the first part of a sentence and go no further, which can cause, dare I say it, “a failure to communicate”. That little word “but” is a conjunction that defines as “except, on the contrary, otherwise than”.  Alright, so I really did know that; I’ll admit I had to check the same source to remind myself what a “conjunction” is.  I quote: the act of  Continue reading “Blogging Blast #6: I like big BUT’s (not a typo…)”

Passing the plate…again??


“It took Solomon twenty years to build the LORD’s Temple and his own royal palace. At the end of that time,  he gave twenty towns in the land of Galilee to King Hiram of Tyre. (Hiram had previously provided all the cedar and cypress timber and gold that Solomon had requested.)   But when Hiram came from Tyre to see the towns Solomon had given him, he was not at all pleased with them. ‘What kind of towns are these, my brother?’ he asked. So Hiram called that area Cabul (which means “worthless”), as it is still known today.   Nevertheless, Hiram paid Solomon 9,000 pounds of gold.”*


Why would Solomon give away part of Israel’s inheritance from God (which was not allowed by the Law) to a non-Israelite monarch? It seems that this magnificent temple was the reason for a magnificent debt, as well as a conscripted labor force (alas, no unions).  And the debt was to a heathen king that seemingly didn’t even appreciate the cites that were given to him. Hmmm….

Various commentaries are in disagreement (fancy that) about the legality of those gifted cities, which, BTW, were eventually returned to Solomon, the reasons of which are, again, in dispute.  But a few possible thoughts emerge:

  1. Going into debt, even for what we consider a “cause from God” is generally not a good idea, especially as it pertains to worldly entanglements. We sometimes expose ourselves (and thereby God’s honor) to dispute when our “good ideas” are actually an excuse for extravagant indulgence.  God Himself said He doesn’t really live in a temple made of human hands. 
  2. If the villages that Solomon gave/levied to the gentile king were actually part of the Promised Land, then they were not Solomon’s to give; they belonged to God, even if they were yet populated by non-Israelites. Every Christian, by definition, is a work in progress; we have under- or undeveloped parts of our character and talents and personality that nevertheless belong to God.  To separate that from its intended use is to distain and show contempt for what God plans to do in that part of “me” for His kingdom.
  3. Interestingly, the foreign king did not see the potential in these cities that King Solomon did (as when the towns were returned, they were built up and used properly for Israel.) The world tends to glean what they can from those portions we unwisely give away, and then discard them as “worthless”.  God, on the other hand, graciously receives that part of us back, and builds it up for its intended productivity. (Part of that amazing grace we sing about…)

Then, like Paul Harvey used to say, there’s the rest of the story, hundreds of years later, when a baby was born in that spurned back-forty and became known as (you guessed it) the Man from Galilee.

*1 Kings 9: 10-14  Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt) (Kindle Locations 19170-19176). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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