The One Thing Voldermort Maybe Got Right, and Snape Wrong: A Love Note

It’s ok if you’re late to the Harry Potter party. It’s been 20+ years since the debut (omg, we’re that old) and as a high school junior I had little time or interest in the hype and hysteria that came with it. Not to mention many Christian circles (still) actively opposing the magic and “witchcraft.”

It wasn’t until this year when my kids’ school sent a letter urging parents to be alert for trends and hypes, particularly where magic or superpowers were involved, that something in me started to rumble.

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Busting Religion: Why I Let My Kids Play with Ninjago, Elsa, Anna, Batman…

In February I got an email from my kids’ school to be alert for “trends and hypes.” All parents were encouraged to give extra thought to the cartoon figures we let our children wear or bring to school, via bags and lunch boxes. My kids attend a school that identifies as Christian, so we knew, in addition to extra singing/music, bible stories and praying, there would be attention to avoiding really frightening stories, or stories of witchcraft, zombies, etc. But this email called out Elsa, Anna, and even Superman. Uh, What??

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If God Was a Bear: “Brave” & Rebelling from Love

Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse sacrificial love and our divine identity, but Brave touches something deeper: the reality of our love-hate relationship with God.

Merida, a fiery and fun-loving princess who wants to live on her own terms (who doens’t?) runs up against traditions that oppress her spirit. Her mother tries to prepare her for all the ways and responsibilities of a princess, including arranged marriage, but the pair are losing their minds and each other.

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50 First Dates with God: Love, Faithfulness and Our Forgetful Nature

Remember “50 First Dates,” where Henry (Adam Sandler) meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore) who suffers from a rare form of amnesia? It’s a funny love story that shows how a devoted heart will go to all lengths, even self-sacrifice, to prove itself.

Henry and Lucy-50 First Dates

When watching we may consider our own relationship with God–atleast I did. Every day looking for *Him in Every. Thing. Hoping for an encounter in anything from a flash in nature, or a song, or moment with the kids, fill in the blank. The stuff where your heart flutters and you catch a glimpse.

But sometimes it’s like *He’s not there.

earth_shadow_-Kennedy Space Center
Intense brightness, but soo0 much dark…

Sometimes, some days, some seasons, I feel nothing, sense nothing. I’m surrounded by Void. I hate these moments that unite against my heart’s grip on memories of when God showed up…

I, like Lucy, can use a reminder.

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#GodSingsBieber? Hearing God’s Heart on the Radio Aint Crazy

How can music banish a bad mood and transport us to a place where problems, cares, fear, sometimes even pain (and certainly time) don’t exist? For a moment there’s just that beat, or lyric line, or bass, or …plug in your own thing– it’s magic.Β  I’ll be feeling down but if a song comes on that rocks, something changes–and even babies know the feeling:

Melodies can spark our spirits, balm our hearts, mirror something of our soul, and sometimes floor us. Who needs Ecstasy when some tracks are flat-out orgasmic?

And Music also heals Socially…

Just think: when we rock to the same jam, things like Race, Gender, ‘Status,’ etc., disappear. Love takes shape in a sea of people grooving. Unity, peace, joy, no fear, no shame, No Problem.

Are these Holy Moments?

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Racer X Like Jesus [Part 2]: Life with Passion and Purpose, Speed Racer Style

(warning, movie spoilers!!)

In Racer X like Jesus (Part 1), I shared how you can hear from God in unexpected places: timely counsel from a neighbor, that special song in the store, the wisdom of your kids, the breeze on your skin.. I got unexpected lessons from Frozen (5 Lessons I didn’t See Coming), so an encounter in Speed Racer should’ve been no surprise.

But once your spiritual antennae are up, movie dialogue touches deeper than simple script. Here were 6 gems I pulled:

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Racer X like Jesus [Part 1]: Love, Sacrifice and Justice, Speed Racer Style

I believe God can be found anywhere, from the breeze on your skin, to the wisdom of your kids. Sometimes He* makes surprise appearances in a theater or a Justin Bieber track (post coming!) and my latest encounter was during the Speed Racer film.

The more I watched Racer X, the more I thought of Jesus, and the more I watched Speed, the more I thought of myself. Racing is a great metaphor for life–tension, time,  passion, power— and every ‘Speed Racer’ can use a ‘Racer X’ in his corner…
[warning, spoilers!]

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Laughter, Joy and Power: The Nitrous Oxide Connection and Tips to Keep it Going!

This starts with a snail namedΒ Turbo who dreams of speed. When Turbo almost drowns in an engine filled with nitrous oxide–and my kids and I started getting nervous– I started to wonder: isn’t that stuff laughing gas??

Turbo snail engulfed in nitrous oxide.png

SNL skits and Steve Martin flashed before me, and I checked wiki to confirm: sure enough, the stuff that numbs pain and causes giggles is the same stuff that turns car horsepower into unicorn power.

Turbo Movie-Snail Speeds Away.jpg

I don’t believe in coincidences so what’s God trying to say??

Speed and Joy can go together like Slow and Annoyed, but maybe the connection runs deeper. What if Fun, Laughter, and Joy are some of our Greatest Weapons in life?

Maybe that’s why they’re constantly under attack…

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Goodness Trumps Greatness Every Time + Two Other Life Hacks

God can use anything to get our attention, from a song on the radio, to a kids movie. As a recovering Pharisee (aka, avoid-anything-not-blatantly-God), this was hard for me to accept, but Disney’s Frozen blew my mind (5 Lessons from Frozen I didn’t see coming here).

I recently saw “Oz, the Great and Powerful ” (2013, with James Franco), and it was chock full of heart lessons. Here are three that touched me, and I hope you too. (Warning, Spoilers!):

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5 Lessons from “Frozen” I didn’t See Coming…

I’d been avoiding Frozen like the plague. A few bad frozenDisney experiences, including watching my son hyperventilate when Nemo got taken, and well, “kids” movies aren’t always for kids.

But that’s not the only reason. The “Pharisee” (keep-out -all-things-not-blatantly-“God”) in me still creeps up. Thankfully God is bigger than any wall I’ll ever build around myself…

So after a long refusal, I finally accepted a nudging invitation to watch the film. AND I’M SO GLAD I DID!

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