Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Into The Word Wednesdays - v. 4

Welcome to week two of Into the Word Wednesdays!

What is Into the Word Wednesdays?

Each Wednesday, we will host his link up where we can all come together and share what we are learning each week in our scripture study.  We don't have to be on the same plan.  We don't have to be on a plan at all!  Just be reading something from the Bible throughout the week and then come link up here!

It's also a "hop", so it's a great opportunity to connect and follow other Christians who are excited about sharing their faith journey!


 The past week has been quite a challenge.  When is it not, you might be wondering?  Truly, though, it has been.  My husband and older daughter went out of town and were away when my younger daughter became sick to the point of having to go to the ER.  We went and were sent home after 7 or so hours.  My husband and daughter came home and my younger daughter wound up in the ER on the 4th of July.  She spent one night in the hospital.  She began to improve a little and then Monday night she was getting sick again - enough to where I had to email the nurse practitioner in pulmonary to see what we should do.  It wasn't necessarily ER worthy at the time, but I could see how it could become that way.  I spent hours in the pulmonary clinic with her yesterday while the doctor decided what to do.  It wasn't out of the realm of possibility that she might be admitted.  However, we managed to avoid that because my daughter has an indwelling port {like a central line} which can be accessed with a special needle in place of an IV so that we can administer IV meds at home {or for hospitals to use for IVs when she is in-patient}.  All of this has happened in the past week or so.  My mind is mush right now.

I have been struggling with my daily reading because I am so physically and mentally exhausted right now.  I had to read several days of my plan all at once just to catch up.  That said, Proverbs 18 has been in my daily reading over the past week.  It is just within the past couple of days where this has really struck me in a strange way.  I'll give you fair warning...I'm a little long on words today.

Our church is doing a new series called "At The Movies" in which they will be pulling out biblical truths from four different mainstream movies - Moneyball, Up, The Social Network, and The Vow.  Last weekend it was a sermon regarding the movie Moneyball.  I wrote about that here.  You have to understand that I am not a big sports buff at all.  I am not even a big Brad Pitt fan.  But I watched the movie in advance so I could more fully appreciate the sermon.  {You can catch the movie synopsis in that post as well.}  I received some great feedback on the post, but there was one that really struck me.  You see, it turns out that a dear friend of mine is acquainted with the family of Art Howe {she is friends with his daughter}, the character portrayed in the film by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe in the movie "Moneyball"

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

My friend said that out of respect for the family, she has chosen to not see this movie.  It really made me think.  I've been thinking a lot about this.  Her comments on my post were bad in any way - I didn't take them that way at all.  Rather, it was just one of those moments that struck me.  Our church message was about the biblical truths that can be pulled from this movie, in particular perseverance.  It was a great message and when you just look at the movie as it is presented, you can see that for sure.

However, since the comment from my friend was posted, I've been struck by the "Hollywood truths" behind the movie.  Yes, there are good solid biblical principles that can be drawn from this film.  At the end of the day, though, this is a Hollywood film starring some pretty highly paid actors.  It is a film which was nominated for 6 Oscars.  It is a film based in truth.  It is primarily about the career of Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics.  Of course the film is going to include many of the people surrounding Beane, which included Art Howe.  Unfortunately, this film apparently did a really poor job portraying Mr. Howe.  I didn't know this because I know nothing about the story as it played out for real.  After having seen the movie, I would have had no way of knowing if what was presented was the truth or a whole bunch of lies.  As it is, it would seem that the portrayal of Mr. Howe was less than favorable and it damaged his reputation in real life.  A movie did that.

Art Howe

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

If you knew my friend you would know what a Godly Christian woman she is and that anyone who she would call a friend must be a lot like her.  By extension, you could hope that the family she comes from is a good family too.  Now, I realize certainly that having one good Christian person in a family doesn't mean the whole family is that way.  They might be the odd duck in a family of misfits or something.  I get that.  But when my friend tells me what a good upstanding man Art Howe truly is, I believe her.

You see, there is a real person in this movie who was portrayed in an unfair manner.  The man's reputation was altered because of a film.  Why?  I can't say for sure, because I did not have anything to do with the making of the film.  One thing seems certain though.  It had to have been about the money.  It's about what sells.  It's about what Hollywood has decided is appealing to the audience.  It's about what the audience has decided is acceptable - even if it is at the expense of a real person.  The hard fact is that the "Hollywood truth" is what sells - not the real truth or even the biblical truths.  Someone somewhere along the way decided that they paying audience would rather see Beane and Howe pitted against one another in a way that portrayed something that was not reality.  I cannot comment on what the relationship of these men truly is or was.  I don't know them.  Perhaps there were legitimate tensions between the two.  I don't know.  But allegedly there were events in the film that absolutely did not go down they way they were portrayed as in the case of the release of player Mike Magnante.

Let's go back to Proverbs 18.

Verse 21 says this:
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

The words we speak and, yes, write, have power in them.  I actually wrote a post on that back in March of this year.  You can read that here.  Whether it's the words in a blog or a book or a Hollywood film, the words expressed can hold much power.  Even when {and sometimes especially when} those words simply aren't the truth.  Yet people seem to thrive on these untruths - they're more appealing than the reality.  Why do we as a culture buy into this?  Do we not realize the harm we can cause by buying into this??  Do we not realize or even care that real people's lives are affected by how issues are portrayed?  How would we react  if it were our own lives up there on the silver screen for the masses to consume and what was being depicted was not the truth that actually happened?

If we move back to verse 15, we read:
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.

Each and every day we are bombarded with information constantly.  The more connected we are, the more we are bombarded.  We tweet, facebook, blog, and so on.  Information is passed at lightning speed.  We have access to more information now than at any other time.  We feed off of it.  We consume it.  We want it.  We often want more.  It seems like the passing of information never ceases.  Sometimes, though, I wish it would.  Information overload occurs.  People can no longer discern what is right and what is a lie.  Truths and untruths are being told constantly and, as the consumer, we have to be really cautious.  We need to be really aware of what is being said versus what the reality is.  Whether it's politics, news, family affairs, or even on the big screen in your living room or the silver screen in the theater.  Information is being transmitted to us and if we aren't careful, we can find ourselves buying into a reality that isn't really "real".

We need to guard ourselves at all times.  We need to learn all we can about biblical truths so that we can stand up for the truth when society throws all of these untruths at us.  We must learn what we can about important issues so that we know which side of the issue is the truth and which is not.  They say that the truth hurts.  Well, yes, it can.  But so can "untruth".  As I said, I wouldn't have been able to tell you if the issues depicted in Moneyball surrounding Mr. Howe were legitimate or not.  I blindly accepted what was presented as reality when, in fact, it was not.

I know that this is not an isolated case of someone's reputation being damaged through a Hollywood depiction or through social media or what have you.  It also won't be the last, which is very unfortunate.  I just felt like Proverbs was kind of speaking to me in light of this whole Moneyball thing - between the church message and hearing one of the real "truths" behind the issue.  I would just really encourage you, first, to be a light to others - to have a tongue with which you speak truths and not lies.  Do not speak ill of others.  Guard yourself against that each and every day.  Second, I would encourage you to pray for wisdom and the ability to discern what is truth when you are being bombarded by whatever information comes your way each day

I would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching my beautiful co-hosts this week: 

Falen at Upward Not Inward 
Kelly at Exceptionalistic
Sarah at Fontenot Four {you're already here!}

Into The Word Wednesdays
Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2.  Follow the host and hostess. 
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!


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