Thursday, November 30, 2017

Forgiving Anakin, Giving Thanks with Luke

This article was originally published at www.coffeewithkenobi.com 

Dear readers, I am preparing for quite a funk this coming holiday season.  My life is turned upside down.  Things are changing, and this is inevitable.  Changes have been coming for a while, but we all know that the holiday season can be taxing in such a situation.  And I want you to know that I am trying to remain thankful and hopeful.  Trying.  Will I succeed?  I’ll let you know in January.  Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the holiday season, and I intend to maintain and meditate on the hope that is imbued in the reason for the civic holiday.  I have blogged about hope many times.  I firmly believe everything that I have written for this grand community.  And the opposite of hope is despair.  This is a paradigm that has been central to my life for its entirety.  Let’s look at each in turn and see where that gets us. Read More

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

One Life Saved, the World Entire Saved: Schindler’s List & the Passing of a Survivor of WWII

This Article was originally published at www.thebeardedtrio.com

All of us who find or search for this page have something in common: a love of great movies, the joy they bring us and an admiration for the people who have brought amazing ideas to life.  I am a Star Wars enthusiast, and will watch anything by Spielberg when it is available.  Goonies, ET, everything Indy, everything Marty.  All of these fantasies fueled the emerging hopes of my childhood.

The fanciful and wonderful movies of my youth that led me to look for the great mysteries of this world.  And then I found a great mystery confronting my sensibilities, my stomach and my own relationship to the world around me.  When I was 18, I came across Schindler’s List.  It was only three weeks after my grandmother died, the matriarch of the family.  I often refer to her as St Granny because of the place her love has had in my life – even after her repose in the Lord.  I don’t remember the occasion, but a lot of the family was gathered together and watched the movie, which was aired without commercial interruption.  Drama of this sort was not something we generally did as a family.  We were into comedies, stand-up comedians, and family stories.  This was a special evening.  Read More

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Life and Death of a Simple Leaf


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I just watched a single leaf fall from a tree outside.  It is autumn, we saw temperatures in the 30s last night, it was beautifully brisk.  That leaf has done its job since late spring.  The bud showed itself sometime as the last icy patches were receding.  The yearly tiny glaciers that give rise to a new short age.  The shoot pushed out of the branch, arcing toward the sunshine, toward the source of the light.  Soon after Pascha, the full young leaf revealed its inherent splendor. Still smaller than its potential. I have heard in many nature documentaries that the deer love young leaves the most.  So being young was risky, but necessary.  As we all tumbled through the end of the school year, or to the early days of outdoor life reawakened, that leaf reached its full stature.  Broad, green, its lines placed there by the finger of God Himself.  We didn’t notice.  That leaf became one of thousands on one tree in a stand of thousands of trees in a town that is more green than anything else. It offered shade to the world below, it fed us the air we breathe.  It worked in concert with its elevated neighbors in a fragile yet powerful system.  The canopy above us, that is the sky, is unreachable by our tiny selves.  So the Lord put the canopy a little lower so that we might know that His loving care is also reachable, and condescends to meet us and provide in our need.  The leaf was a part of that plan.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Force and Faith: Luke's Lonely Exile and Hopeful Return

Some very fun and creative parody accounts are on Twitter, spoofing Kylo Ren’s maudlin behavior, or the loneliness that Luke must be feeling.  Whichever comic geniuses were behind them, they had me laughing many times.  (And I make no endorsement of any blue material I may be overlooking).  They took these iconic characters and looked into their psyches for incredible comedic results.  But the online world of Twitter, Facebook and the like can actually lead us to feeling isolated, which is very similar to the loneliness that Luke must have felt on the heights of Ahch-To.  Luke was a man who grew up in a family, surrounded by friends, and joined the vast rebellion with its camaraderie.  In his exile, he must have experienced a profound loneliness that affected him.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

To Rebel is to be Truly Human

“I rebel.”


Very simply put, this is the most important thing you can come to grips with, and become part of.  And yeah, me, of the first estate by vocation, I will teach this to the bitter end.  There are evil and nefarious forces in the world masquerading as goodness, trying to steal the inherent beauty in each of us.  There are greedy people trying to gain unlimited power through the theft of the beauty each of us possesses.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Abundant Life in the Blooming Desert

The Star Wars community tends to boil things down to a lowest common denominator.  While we all have Wookieepedia bookmarked and a vast knowledge TIE fighter models, we find the conversations being whittled down to likes or dislikes, goods or bads.  We polarize our conversations instead of finding deeper levels of understanding through true understanding, dialog and compassion.  If you think I’m nuts, have you ever persuaded someone with your theory about who Snoke is?  When talking to someone with an opinion on midichlorians, have you changed your mind?  There is a call to something greater, though.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jyn and the Woman of Hope

The joy of being a Star Wars fan knows no bounds.  To be treated to the latest epic adventure just days before the celebration of Christmas is like an embarrassment of riches!  Let’s take a short spoiler-free look at Rogue One, and see what we can draw out of it.

StarWars.com offers this as a synopsis of the movie: “In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction.”  While this is an ensemble cast, the story has an iconic heroine in Jyn Erso.  Through her, the story is moved, the task is completed (don’t be surprised, since we have known since 1977) and all of the soldiers aboard Rogue One find their fulfillment.  That is all I will say, in case you haven’t seen it yet.  But seriously, why are you reading my ramblings if you haven’t seen the move yet?  Put this down!  Run to the theater!  Then, come back and finish up here.