Friday, November 8, 2013

Building Altars

A few nights ago I was posed with the question of "What do you do when you're losing your faith?"  it's a very good question that has caused me to think a lot in the past few days.  I think one of the best ways to deal with a season of doubting is to prepare yourself beforehand so that when something shakes you to your core you're better able to hold onto God and weather the storm.

Reading through the Old Testament you see many of the Patriarchs and the Israelite nation itself stop what they're doing to build an altar.  Abraham built one when he got to Canaan.  Jacob erected one after he wrestled with God.  The nation carried stones out of the Jordan as soon as they crossed into the Promised Land.  The Old Testament is full of people building altars.  But why?

Whenever something significant happened, people built an altar to commemorate the event.  So whenever they were walking in the countryside and passed that place, they were reminded of what God had done for them, their fathers, or their ancestors.  I think it's a brilliant idea we should emulate.

Surround yourself with momentos that remind you of how God has been faithful to you in the past.  It will bolster your faith in the present and it will help you better process through your thoughts and emotions when you're struggling with hard times.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ender's Game

Ender's Game, penned by Orson Scott Card, is one of the greatest novels I've ever read.  It's full of action, it surprises you at a few points, but most importantly it makes you think.  Any great piece of art--literature, poetry, paintings, film, etc., is supposed to make you think.  The whole "Ender" series does this very well, but none better than the original book.

I've heard for years that Card was trying to garner interest in a film version of the novel.  It excited me the moment I first heard it.  So last Friday night Destree and I shelled out the money to go and see it on the silver screen--is there any other way to see a movie?
Overall it was a good movie.  I'm happy we went and saw it.  But I was expecting more.  I was expecting a great movie.  As a fan, I wanted to every word from the page translated to the screen.  It didn't happen.  I understand that it's a choice of cutting minor scenes out or expanding it into a multi-film series.  I do think the story would have better fit two or three films.

They cut out certain details in the story and entirely emitted a major subplot to fit the movie into a two hour window.  They altered minor details to make the story flow quicker and to eliminate the need for a more extensive back story.  On one hand I understand why they did that.  For someone who is not familiar with the novel it makes a smoother film.  But to me the entire movie felt rushed.  The net effect of this is that the film is not nearly thought provoking as the book.  There is only one scene towards the end of the movie that even comes close to causing the viewer to ask the questions the reader asks while reading the book.  The movie is a step below the book.

I know I sound like I'm complaining a lot (which I am), but it was still a good movie.  In retrospect, I guess I had impossibly high standards for the film.  I'm sure the film will grow on me; it will definitely be one that I own.

The casting was superb.  No one did an average job of performing their character.  Everyone was great.  I think the two greatest choices were Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff and Moises Arias as Bonzo.  They really drove the multi-layered conflict that made the book so memorable.

They left it open to continue the series (the Ender half at least), though I don't know if they will or not.  If they do, I'll be one of the first in line to see them.  If not I will console myself by rereading through the series again and again.