Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) PG-13

(Poster is copyrighted by Lucasfilm and Disney)

(Spoiler Free Review)

In the newest installment of the Star Wars saga Rey is trying to get Luke Skywalker to return to help out the Resistance while Poe, Finn, and Leia continue the fight against the First Order.

First off I have to admit that I’m a huge Star Wars fan and my kids are starting to become huge fans as well. With that being said I have to say that The Last Jedi was done very well. There is a lot more action in this film then the previous one, The Force Awakens. Pretty much every moment gives an edge of your seat feeling with just a few spots to take a breath. Mark Hamill does a great job portraying a broken Luke Skywalker while Daisy Ridley continues to establish Rey as a hero in the Star Wars franchise. The computer graphics are done well. The Canto Bight scene gives an even bigger glimpse at the different species of the Star Wars Universe and everything seems real. There was just a couple shots elsewhere in the film where you could tell a character was digitally inserted. 

The film is rated PG-13, though this would be mostly because of the constant action scenes and some intensity of the have to have fighting. If you are not into much violence and hand to have fighting then you may not enjoy this. The violence level would be around the same as Rouge One, just more of it. I did bring the whole family and the kids all enjoyed it and weren’t scared during any part of the film. The film is 2 1/2 hours long so towards the end my youngest was ready to be done and go home, he is in the beginning elementary school age group. The older two on the other hand, upper elementary and middle school age, were engaged the entire time.

Overall I would recommend this film for families with kids in upper elementary school age or older. I would also recommend this film if you love action and sci-fi films. 

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Enemies

Ever have someone hurt you, wrongfully accuse you, or bully you? We have all had someone do one, if not more, of these things to us. 

Growing up I was definitely not one of the popular kids. I have a raspy voice, I walk a little hunched over, had a lazy eye, and my grades were average at best. I was the kid who was one of the first targets for bullies. I’ve been called Grandpa, hunchback, cross-eye, for eyes, among other things. I would be lying if I didn’t say that these things hurt me and probably helped form me into the person I am today. Looking back to those days I’ve chosen to forgive those who were mean. I can admit it wasn’t easy, but I think the easiest part is that I live a distance from where I grew up so I really don’t see these people anymore. Working in the retail world I can also deal with people who are mean and could be considered bullies. Again it can be hard to forgive and not let it affect me, but when I do struggle I just think of this verse.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Matthew 5:44 NKJV

Yeshuea Messiah (Jesus Christ) says here in Matthew to bless those who curse you. He also has said to forgive them. Does that make what they did to you or me right? Most certainly not. It just no longer makes what they did continue to control our life. When Yeshuea was betrayed, beaten, ridiculed, and hung on the Cross He didn’t curse those who were doing it, He asked God to forgive them. If Yeshuea can do this while suffering through all that, we can follow suit and forgive those who hurt us. It can and will still be hard at times to do so, but with prayer God will help you to bless and forgive your enemies. God Bless.

Should Christians Celebrate Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of the rededication and purification of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus on Kislev 25 (165 BC) after it had been defiled by Antiochus IV, who was the Seleucid King, three years prior. Antiochus sacrificed a pig on the alter and claimed himself a god. When the Hasmoneans looked for oil they only found one Cruse of oil that had not been contaminated. This was enough to last for only one day. While they waited to get new oil that was not contaminated this one days worth of oil miraculously lasted for 8 days. This is the reason that starting the next year and on Jews would celebrate Hanukkah for 8 days.

Growing up in a Christian home I celebrated all the usual Christian holidays. Never did I celebrate a Jewish holiday. As I got older and started a family of my own I wanted to be closer to God and be more like Yeshuea Messiah (Jesus Christ). My wife and I started looking into and learning about the things that Yeshuea did while He was on Earth. Some of the things we learned was that He celebrated Jewish holidays and practiced Jewish traditions. Leaning this we decided that part of being like Yeshuea would mean partaking in the celebrations and traditions that He and His disciples followed. Though His death on the Cross did change some things, like forgiveness though Him then a sacrifice on a alter, it didn’t change everything. The Jews are still God’s people and their traditions still matter to Him. We as Christians should honor God and Yeshuea and partake in these traditions. Knowing about these traditions and partaking in them will help you have a close relationship with God. I hope that even though we are in the second day of Hanukkah as this posts that you will look into Hanukkah and possibly partake yourself the rest of this season. God Bless.

Sabbath: Is it really Sunday for Christians?

Ever wonder if the Sabbath is really suppose to be Sunday for Christians? When people argue and state that it is I tend to hear that it’s because Yeshuea Messiah (Jesus Christ) was resurrected on Sunday. But if you think about it, no where in the New Testament does it say that because of this did God’s Day Of Rest change. I’ve read the Bible several times and have yet to find a verse to support the day change. 

Over the past couple years I have begun to learn that if Christians want to truly follow God’s 10 Commandments then we need to go back to worshipping and resting on Saturdays. 

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In  it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Exodus 20:8‭-‬11 NKJV

Also when you read the Gospels you read that Yeshuea celebrated all the Jewish celebrations and He even said:

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Matthew 5:17‭-‬18 NKJV

I will go more into Yeshuea and the Jewish Celebrations in another entry, but I don’t believe that Yeshuea intended for the Sabbath day to change after He rose from the grave. I have learned much more over the past few years about Yeshuea and Jewish Traditions, but this article from Sabbath truth.com is a very well done summary of the Sabbath parts I’ve learned. Click on this link to learn more. God Bless.
https://www.sabbathtruth.com/free-resources/article-library/id/916/catholic-church-admits-they-made-the-change

Moses

(Image copyright of Sight And Sound Theater)

Many of you may know Moses as the prophet from the Old Testament who parted the Red Sea or received the 10 Commandments from God, but did you know that Moses was an ordinary guy just like you and me? He had his faults just like we do.

Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

Exodus 2:11‭-‬12 NKJV

Moses first mistake was that he killed a fellow Egyptian. Also, instead of facing his problems he ran from them. Then later when God asked Moses to be His spokesperson for getting Pharaoh to let His people go Moses told God:

Then Moses said to the Lord , “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

Exodus 4:10 NKJV

Moses thought because of his inability to speak clearly and because of his past mistakes that he was not qualified to be the one to face Pharaoh and tell him to let God’s people go. Like the sign my wife and I have hanging in our house:

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

God saw the potential that Moses had in him, not the things Moses had done in his past. The same is true for us. God doesn’t look at what we’ve done but what we could do through Him. You may feel God calling you to do something and think “I can’t do that. I’m not good enough or have enough knowledge.” But this is false, it’s the devil trying to keep you from doing what God has called you to do. You may not possess the knife or abilities now, but through God you will. All you need to do is trust Him and follow where He leads. Doing this will give you the best life you could have, a God blessed life. God Bless.

One last thing, in case you haven’t had the chance you need to head to Branson, MO and go see the show Moses at the Sight & Sound Theaters. All their shows are amazing and this one is no different. They contain live animals and biblical messages. A fun time for all ages. It runs at this location until October 20, 2017. 

Freedom

Today is July 4th, Independence Day in America. It’s a day that we celebrate our freedom. Freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of religion. But this freedom did not come free. Many people have sacrificed their lives to get our freedom along with keeping and protecting it. Many people will just have barbeques, parades, and shoot off fireworks, but it’s a day we should be remembering and honoring those who have given us this freedom.

Just like in America the whole world can have freedom, freedom from their sins. Jesus has given us this freedom, though just like in America this freedom has come at a price. That price was His death on a cross. Though this may come as bad news, the good news is that His death was only temporary. Christ defeated death and rose again on the third day. With His victory comes victory for us because through Him our sins can be forgiven and washed away. Asking Jesus to come into your heart, starting a relationship with Him, and living your life for Him can give you this freedom. Freedom from sin and eternal life in heaven with Him. I pray that you will ask Him into your heart today if you haven’t already. God Bless.

I have added a song about freedom in America that I have enjoyed over the years. It’s called “God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood. Take the time to listen and may God bless America and may God bless you.

The Impossible (2012) PG-13

(Poster is a copyright by respected parties)

The film ‘The Impossible’ is based on the true story of the Alvárez family, changed to Bennett in film, while on vacation in Thailand in December of 2004. Their vacation was going great until the day after Christmas when an earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused one the the most devastating tsunamis in history.

Watching ‘The Impossible’ I was definitely kept on the edge of my seat for many moments throughout the film. While Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, as Maria and Henry Bennett, did an excellent job bringing you into the film, it was Tom Holland, as Lucas Bennett, whose character was the main star carrying the film. Between the intense scenes right after the tsunami hit to later in the film, when he was trying to help out others, you couldn’t help but find yourself supporting and feeling for him. As for the film itself the beginning seemed to start out a little slow but that definitely changed once the tsunami hit. From then on there was pretty much action at every turn, with little spots to take a breath.

This film is rated PG-13 and for good reason. From the moment the tsunami hits till the end credits roll there is hardly a shot where you don’t see blood, wounds, or someone coughing up blood. One example would be Maria when her and Lucas were walking around looking for help and you see a huge bloody gash on the back of her leg along with a quick shot of a bloody nipple. In another scene you see what Maria goes through as she is being pushed, pulled, and thrown around under water for about three minutes. (Several sources I’ve read about what really happened said that the doctors told the real Maria that she was under water for about that long) ‘The Impossible’ will bring out your emotions and fears for the characters. It’s not a film for young ones or those who don’t like crier films, but if you enjoy movies based on true events this film is a good, emotional, thrilling flick. I would recommend this film for adults and those over 13 who can handle intense true life scenes.