Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sunday Evening Soliliquy

Just got back from dinner at my sister's (Jackie) and her son and daughter in law (my nephew and niece) and their two daughters. Casey's Dad computer-generated a Happy Birthday banner for me with a serval on one end and Dr. McCoy on the other (does he have my number, or what?); Casey drew in hearts and clouds and rainbows and "I love you's" in between (does she have me wrapped around her little finger, or what?). I brought it home tonight and taped it above the entryway to my den. It will be there a very long time, as will the double-heart card Casey made for me. (I placed it on the refrigerator door.)

I'm wearing the necklace Casey selected for me and tomorrow after work will head to Wal-Mart and Michael's Arts and Craft Store to spend the money in the gift cards that Sis Jackie and my nephew and niece gave me. Such pleasurable anticipation!

After church this morning I went to see AMAZING GRACE again to be sure I wasn't imagining how powerful it was. I wasn't. It captured me all over again. It's a true masterpiece. I don't think I've ever seen a movie better constructed than this one. Every scene is captivating. The audience is invited into the time period almost by what feels like a time warp. It all seems so real, so immediate. This is a period movie that transcends the ages. I can't recommend it highly enough, and please go see it while it's in the theaters, because the effect of "being there" will be lost in a home viewing, I fear. The tall ship sequences are riveting; I can't imagine them having the same effect on a smaller screen...

One of the people I work with at On-Hold Concepts told me this week that her mother told her they are descendants of John Newton, who wrote the hymn AMAZING GRACE. John Newton was a former slave ship captain who was born again, repented of his ways and became a monk. He was instrumental in encouraging William Wilberforce to fight the slave trade... I hope his descendant (my co-worker) sees the movie because she will get a look at someone whose blood is flowing through her veins... and she will be proud... and she will never hear AMAZING GRACE again without feeling something stir within her that will be unutterably magnificent.

One of the best lines in the movie is his. In fact, every line in the movie that is his -- actor Albert Finney's -- is monumental. He will win Best Supporting Actor next year, I predict.

In the scene, Newton, now blind, is having a scribe transcribe his "confession of crimes" against African humanity (to aid Wilberforce in his battle in Parliament to end the slave trade) when Wilberforce comes to visit. Newton dismisses his scribe and begins to crumble emotionally because the recounting has finally allowed him to weep (rather than to continue to try to run from the ghosts of slaves that have accompanied so many of his waking moments for decades). At one point he says... but, no... I'm not going to spoil it for you. Go see the movie. You'll know the line I'm referring to the moment he speaks it. It begins with: "I know two things. I am a great sinner, and ---"

Take a hanky. This is not a movie you will be able to sit through dry-eyed. Not even the second time!

I would like to invite you to visit my church, Church For All Nations (CFAN), either in person if you're local, or virtually, by logging onto Once at the website, if you go to the Multimedia radio button and then click on the Video Format button, you will be able to view the past three weeks' sermons by Pastor Bill Wolfson. He's always super great, but sometimes he's absolutely grand. By logging on, you will be able to check him out without leaving home. Give it a try. If you like it/him, make the CFAN website a favorite and keep coming back for more! Let me know what you think...

There isn't much else to report today, so I'll let you go for now.

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