When You (think you’ll) Leave, Remember…

I’m not writing this because I’m mad or angry but because I’ve seen a lot of awkwardness lately…
I’m not writing this because you might have felt like I wasn’t doing a good job but because there have been lots of blogs about the church lately…
I’m not writing this because you’ve left or talked about leaving but because I think you’ve forgotten some things…

So when you leave your church for another…better yet, when you THINK you’ll leave your church for another, you need to remember…

The Body…The Bible calls the church the body. Yes, it references the universal church, all believers throughout all time. But haven’t you noticed how true it is of the local church? How much more tangible of a picture it is with the church you’ve been attending? Remember this, when you leave, it will not be without pain. You cannot sever a part of the body without pain. Do not think this moment will be absent of hurt and loss…

The Family…You do not make this decision in a vacuum. It feels like an individual decision because it is a personal decision but you’re wrong, it involves a family, albeit a dysfunctional and broken family. The pain involved won’t be felt by you alone. No matter how ignored you might be feeling, the family will notice when you’re gone. It may never say anything but it will be affected. Relationships will be altered. Time together will shrink. Words and shared moments will be fewer not because of anger but lack of presence, you aren’t there so they can’t be shared. The family most certainly has failed you, all families do at some point and it may truly be time to move out but as you do so, remember…

The Pastor…He too may have failed you for he is certainly a sinner, someone called to an impossible task that he is insufficient to face. He also cared for you, prayed for you, hoped for you, connected with you and relied upon you even if you never noticed or felt as much. He is undermined by his own weakness, by the sins of others, by spiritual warfare and by a world that has no place for him. Do not add to this by leaving poorly or by imagining it won’t matter to him. Do not pretend it won’t be awkward for him when he sees you dropping your kids off at school. Don’t forget the hours, the spiritual sweat he invested in your marriage, your kid, your spiritual well-being. Even if he is the worst Pastor ever, don’t forget that he too is part of the Body, the Family…

The Bride – You leave (part of) Christ’s bride. Mind your words on the way out. When you speak of this place to others, don’t forget that you speak of His bride. Flaws and all, she is loved.  Do your words reflect that? Though she cause you pain, remember that she has been redeemed and He puts her on display as an object of His affection. I would not let you speak of my bride without consequence.  What makes you think Christ loves His bride any less!

So only leave if you must, and there is perhaps a time to leave…after much prayer and fasting and reflection and repentance (you didn’t think you were free of culpability in this) and certainly direction from God.

Then, when you leave, leave right.  Mind your words and before you blog, tweet, update a status or talk about the church you leave, remember it is still the Body, the Family and the Bride.


Christmas Movies (part 2)

Mentioned: Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Babes in Toyland (it has Santa’s workshop but is it really Christmastime?  how do you know?), Santa and the Three Bears/Star Wars Christmas, A Christmas Story, Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, A Nativity Story

Now the rest (that we have and are therefore likely to watch and maybe some others as well) in no particular order

The Dog that Saved Christmas

Hercules Poirot Christmas – if you like Poirot you’ll like this

The Preacher’s Wife/The Bishop’s Wife – I like the Denzel/Whitney version

Miracle on 34th Street – Natalie Wood or 90’s version, doesn’t matter, both are great

It’s a Wonderful Life – worth watching but not as good as it’s reputation

Scrooge/Christmas Carol – thousands of versions, read the book too…and if you can, find the 2000’s cartoon version (starts live action) with Kate Winslet voicing a character…and don’t forget the Barbie version too

speaking of Barbie…Barbie Nutcracker – it’s better than you would think and launched the line of movies which is also better than you’d think (at least when they do classic stories…and 12 Dancing Princesses is pretty solid too, but we were talking about Christmas)

Mickey’s Magical Christmas

Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (2nd best version after the Muppets…I rank Disney’s 2009 version as 3rd…Bill Murray’s Scrooged is like 10th even though most people rank it higher, why, I don’t know)

The Christmas Toy – Muppets, Christmas and Toy Story all in a wonderful holiday blend

Muppet Family Christmas & A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Show – they have a few other Christmas specials too but I don’t think we have those

Christmas in Connecticut (original)…the tv version is worth watching but only if you don’t take it seriously

Home Alone (progressively worse as they add numbers but the first one is great and the second is acceptable)

VeggieTales – the original, The Star that of Christmas, Saint Nicholas, It’s a Meaningful Life and now The Little Drummer Boy (with the silly song “the 8 Polish Foods of Christmas”)…don’t forget your Veggies this Christmas

Winnie the Pooh – a Very Merry Pooh Year

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – cartoon and Jim Carrey versions

The Polar Express – Hot Chocolate is a must for this movie

Frosty the Snowman & Frosty Returns (okay, Frosty Returns is horrible, skip it if you can)

The 12 Dogs of Christmas

Ernest Saves Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Eve

Christmas with the Kranks – read the Grisham novel, too

Mrs Santa Claus – it’s Angela Lansbury/Jessica Fletcher!!!

and don’t forget The Santa Clause (and #’s 2 and 3)


I’m sure we’ll add some more if we get the chance

Christmas Movies part 1

A few weeks ago, I was looking for a Thanksgiving movie…there aren’t any.  Well, there are, but there aren’t many classics.  There aren’t many that are about Thanksgiving and not just occurring at Thanksgiving and there aren’t many you can actually find.  Here’s what I found:

Classic – A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving…the Peanuts have a classic for every holiday actually

In my queue for next year – An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving – haven’t seen it, here’s to remembering it in time to watch it next November

One more – my dad has another one that we didn’t get to watching but I can’t remember it’s name which sort of tells you everything you need to know about Thanksgiving movies


But Christmas movies!!!  I’ve got plenty of those, here’s a list of some of what I’ll be watching (and blogging about?) between now and Christmas:

Classics (in my opinion) regardless of their production date:

Twas the Night before Christmas – 1914…never seen it but it’s from 1914, gotta find this one

Christmas Comes by Once A Year (cartoon) – from the 30’s, not all that good but it’s got one of those annoying songs you can’t get out of your head and it’s one of the earliest Christmas “movie” you’ll find…unfortunately I think it’s in that pre PC (in a bad way) era that sometimes contains regrettably stereotypes, haven’t watched it in a while so I don’t remember if it does or doesn’t, but I remember that song…

Holiday Inn – from the 40’s, classic song (White Christmas), classic movie, again some horrible stereotypes…yes, I’m ignoring It’s a Wonderful Life, I like Holiday Inn better

White Christmas – best of the 50’s, best Christmas movie period, several songs that are worth getting stuck in your head

Babes in Toyland – best of the 60’s?, classic movie but I’m not really sure I even agree that this is a Christmas movie but that’s always where it seems to end up…I really want to say Santa Claus Conquers the Martians but I’ve never seen it…let’s just agree that the 60’s seem to have just (and only just) scraped by the 70’s as worst Christmas movie decade ever

Santa and the Three Bears – best of the 70’s, horrible era for Christmas movies and I don’t just mean good ones, there are few that even seem to have been made and it’s most well known addition is probably Black Christmas which is a horror movie…really, Christmas and horror?  But the 70’s (barely) did gift us with this tv cartoon gem…of course, the real best is the Star Wars Christmas Special but George Lucas seems to have erased this treasure from existence (except of course in the galaxy known as youtube; I hear this is coming to blue ray soon which will definitely break my will and cause me to go by a blue ray player)…”This is not the Christmas movie you are looking for”

A Christmas Story, best of the 80’s which has a surprising amount of Christmas productions, seems to have started a trend that hasn’t ever really stopped.  They’re often sappy and usually just made for a quick buck but a lot of Christmas movies have been cranked out ever since the 80’s which makes the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s really tough to pick a best of…just think of all the ones you’d argue should beat out mine

The Muppet Christmas Carol – best of the 90’s AND best Christmas Carol…Muppets, music, no 3D gimmickry (sorry Disney’s Christmas Carol in the 2000’s, you were good but had a bit too much of this), Gonzo as the narrator, Jacob and BOB Marley, not too scary unlike some versions (I think I still have nightmares from a few Christmas Carols)…after White Christmas, this is probably my favorite

Elf – best of the 2000’s – it’s Tif’s favorite and it had my mom cracking up the other night

2010’s – haven’t seen Arthur Christmas and I refuse to acknowledge Harold and Kumar so I’m holding out hope that the 70’s and 60’s aren’t dethroned somehow

The Nativity Story – best to tell the true story of Christmas…so I’m cheating with the 2000’s but this one is literally timeless (1 Peter 1:20 “He was chosen before the creation of the world…)


so many movies left off…don’t worry, look for part 2 soon



Winnie the Pooh 2011

Tonight we watched the new(est) Winnie the Pooh.

Perhaps we weren’t expecting much (at least Nathan and I weren’t) but we expected it would be a decent family movie.  G rated, Winnie the Pooh, Disney…it’s just a good solid mix even if we’re growing into the teen/tween years and leaving the Disney preschool days in our dust.

Those of us not expecting much were surprised.  It was funny, entertaining and at 1 hour, 3 minutes, the perfect length to be interesting but not lag in the middle (something mentioned about a story in the movie itself).

Combine that with my (PBJ) perusal of IMDB’s info for the movie, complete with parental guide (really, Sex/Nudity mentions Pooh being pantsless?  too much!  I half expected the Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking section to list Pooh’s “huny” addiction).

It is definitely worth watching (unless perhaps you’re household is all teenage boys, then wait until they get married and start having kids).

Here’s our review (each of us can award 1, 2 or 3 stars)…

PBJ – loved the “It’ll be Great” song with Tigger and Eyeore and also the     “Knot/Not/Naught”…3 stars

Tif – (spoiler alert) liked how Winnie the Pooh chose to give Eyeore his       tail back before selfishly eating food…3 stars

N8 – liked Pooh’s Knock-Knock/Who’s There? response (part of the             “Knot/Not/Naught”)…3 stars; remember he didn’t expect to like it.

Z4c – likes the “nickname” of Pooh…he’s a tween now, not very                     surprising…3 stars

KT – enjoyed everything, especially when they fall in the hole…3 stars

Barr Family rating of 15 stars

PS – what’s your favorite Winnie the Pooh character?  Ours…

PBJ – Tigger and Owl

Tif – Owl

N8 – if he has to pick one, Tigger

Z4c – Tigger

KT – everyone except for Rabbit because of his grouchy attitude; Piglet if she only gets one

The Rise and the Fall of Darth Vader by Ryder Windham

This was a fun-reading book that I got to pick . I like it because the fight scenes are fun.  Darth vader is cool when he joins the light side.

You probably know Vader from the movies.   But did you know that he shot a poison planet with a laser?  He also found 50 jedi on one planet. He found a jedi artifact. He had a meeting with Boba Fett in an old jedi base.  Vader is one busy Sith.

If you read and like this book read  life stories of his master , Obi Wan, and son, Luke.  Now I’m going to watch Episode III and eat lunch with daddy.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

I’m in the process of reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick…I thought I’d start a new tradition of reading a “monster” book each October, but picked the wrong one to start.  That one should probably be my Spring Mega Book…So I grabbed Irving’s classic story and read it last Friday afternoon.

Some quick thoughts:

It was good…short (30 pages maybe) but good.

The Disney cartoon (see previous family movie night blog) is surprisingly accurate.

I didn’t know Brom Bones’ real name is Abraham…did you?

There are several other short stories in the book that I’ll also read at some point…Rip Van Winkle is probably the only one you’d recognize but The Wife seems the most spectral, never heard of it but the title is intriguing.

Not much else to say so Happy Reformation Day (soon) and I’m back to the wife, The Wife and Melville’s classic (just 450+ pages to go).

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The story is about a sailor. He gets sent to jail for no resson.  He pretends to be dead to escape. He gets revenge.


What do you do when angry? I explode in angry. I say things I don’t mean. I shoud calm domn.


If I was the main character, I would :

form an army

conquer Africa,Asia and Europe.

marry and have kids.


What would you do?