"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Drama: Reel vs. Real

Drama: a composition in prose or verse presenting in dialogue or pantomime a story involving conflict or contrast of character, especially one intended to be acted on the stage; a play.

And Action!

Five of the greatest storytellers of all time in the genre of drama are Shakespeare, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, one of my ex-wives (just kidding about the ex thing and yes I did say "one" of my ex wives... you really ain't livin', until you've had more than one) and the Housewives of... you pick the city or town. Whether you find yourself reading Hamlet or Othello (who does that?), or watching Rear Window, To Catch a Thief or Goodfellas your senses instantly become of aware of the weight and gravity, the intrigue and interest, and the talent those powerful pieces, centered around conflict and drama, embody.

Their stories resonate; their message is powerful. 

As far as the Housewives of Drama (or NBA Housewives on VH1) goes, well let's just say, they are some of the most miserable creatures God has ever created (notice I didn't add any of my ex's to that list.... this whole God thing is really workin'... yea boy!). To say that most of these participants in this cul de sac of selfishness are misguided, arrogant, delusional, narcissistic, self-centered and clueless would be giving most of them too much credit. They are just sad and pathetic.

*disclaimer: for all the people that attend church and are reading this, especially those from Cypress Wesleyan Church in Galloway, Ohio, the basketball parents of the children I coach on our "Cypress Wesleyan Church" team, any participants in said show(s), children's ministries leader Kathy Hanks George, pastor Ken and his wife, Serena, I want it to be made clear that I'm not "name calling" or "passing judgment" (heck, I'm not even judgin") on said participants. I'm just pointing out a few of the character flaws my wife has taken the liberty to share with me after she finishes watching said show(s) that she DVR'd. Also, there was no mention of the Kardashians because of my continual effort, and hope, that one these completely self adsorbed, narcissistic and shallow people will send out to their twitter universe my twitter and blog URL, so as to, promote God's word, aid in the growth of God's kingdom and to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. I really want God to get all the glory. You know, that whole 1 Peter 4:11 thing.

OK, where was I? Oh yea, "gold diggers and cul de sac's" 

And since you brought up NBA Housewives and cul de sac's, - Please, I'm sure you had no clue that you would be using both of those phrases in the same sentence this afternoon - I would like for someone to explain to me, maybe Shaunie O'Neal, Shaq's ex-wife, who is the producer of the show... that's what my wife tells me anyway, why the show is called NBA Housewives

No one is married! 

Every "couple" is either divorced, engaged tittering on the brink of a break up or just sleeping with "said" NBA playa -slash- Baby mama's lottery ticket -slash- Baby mama baby's college fund donor -slash- I will be broke or bankrupt (OR BOTH) in exactly 3 1/2 years after I retire or I'm cut (OR BOTH) from the team.

Please, marriage on that "show" is taken about as serious as a station-wagon, leisure suit or summer school. I know these things because my parents had a station-wagon at one time (it wasn't pretty), my mom bought me a leisure suit... in high school (it wasn't pretty or funny), and no one at summer school took anyone serious... that includes the teachers, as well as, the students (again, not pretty, but it was actually very funny).

Oh yea, before I forget, cul de sac is a 18th century (1730-40) French word  that literally means... ready for this all you upper middle class peasants, country club elitists and real estate agents? The literal meaning of this French word is "the bottom of the sack."



Really funny.

Yes kids... your Dad did look this silly at one time.

What isn't funny though is the drama that is played out on the stages of too many people's lives. Authors have sold billions of books and Hollywood has created many movies using drama as it's go to theme.

Alfred Hitchcock once said; "Drama is life with all the dull bits cut out." 

Well said.

Alfred Hitchcock: scary and not too funny.
(He was actually very funny and witty, but you get my point)

Hollywood: Reel Drama

For many years, and a thousand times over, Hollywood has told, and sold, the story about the Prince, the Knight in shining armor on the white horse and "happily ever after" fairytale. And with each false hope and fake reality the story is delivered with one bookend being misery and the other ecstasy, with "drama" being somewhere, if not everywhere, in the proverbial middle. No story better depicts this old fairy tale theme more than the 1950 Disney classic, Cinderella.

The story was first published by a Frenchman named Charles Perrault in 1697.

Leave it to the French to so poignantly, and adequately, depict reality in the form of a fairytale.

The story itself is pretty simple. It goes something like this. 

Girl has no boy. Misery. Girl meets boy. Ecstasy. Family, friends and combatants try to keep girl from boy. Drama. Girl loses shoe. Real drama. Boy finds and saves girl. Ecstasy again. Boy gives girl her other shoe. Ecstatic... girlfriend is flippin' jumping out of her skin. And they both live happily ever after (so the story goes). Pure Bliss.



Not real funny.

The reason it's not so funny is because many people live their life with that fairytale type mentality and philosophy. "If I could just meet the right someone, if these people would just get out of my way. If only I could be with that one person I would be happy the rest of my days."

None of that could be further from the truth. 

Romans 12:1-2 instructs us of this; "Do not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

When we truly follow this command, then, and only then, will we be able to remove ourselves from the destructive, drama filled, fairytale like thinking. In the end it's the transforming of our mind though Jesus Christ that will set us free and enable us to live a real life based on reality, not a reel life based on fairy-tales.

Brentwood: Fake Drama disguised as Real Drama
From posh communities like Brentwood, California to small towns in Cleveland like Lakewood drama is king, or should I say queen. Sorry ladies, you "guys" seem to entertain drama at the same rate we men entertain stupidity. Women, please, don't get mad at me. You know it is the truth. Plus, in the end, it's just the way the DNA cards fell. When it comes to drama, women are all in.


What fake drama disguised as real drama really is is a state of mind that manifests itself through poor thinking, poor behavior and even worse judgement. Most drama could be avoided if that was the main goal. But it's not. Many people feel comfortable, and down right at home, when there smack dab in the middle of something that is dysfunctional, toxic and miserable. And with the advent of technology that has "connected" and "drawn" us even closer to one another (that last statement is debatable) the game called drama has found new arenas to play its sport. Texting, Facebook and Twitter have all become the new playgrounds for drama for millions of folks every day.



And that's why they call it drama.

The very thing(s); the technological advances that were invented to place us in greater contact with each other, has in many cases, become weapons in the war called drama and has separated us. Again, how ironic; how sad.

James 1:13-15 states; when tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 

I choose that passage because ALL of us are tempted each day to cause, or invite, drama into our lives, as well as, others. We are tempted to listen, speak and pass on the latest gossip. We are often tempted to speak our minds and give our opinions when neither were requested, desired or needed. All of us are tempted in many ways that can, and will, cause a great deal of damage to ourselves and others.

And we do it all in the name of drama.

In the end, we are susceptible to being shaped by culture, whether that culture plays itself out on the on the silver screen in Hollywood or in the posh cul de sac's of Brentwood. They both can wield great power over us if we don't recognize and respect the awesome ability they have in shaping how we think, act and behave.

Much of what I write about, and believe, is centered around my faith in Jesus Christ and the power that He has in transforming our lives. That transformation first begins with the mind. This is paramount because all of our actions, behaviors and words find fertile soil in the deep regions of our minds. When thinking about life, and the drama that can stay with us like an uninvited house guest, one most remember a few things. First, life is beautiful, and though this is true, everyone must accept in order to experience, and fully appreciate, the beauty you must also accept that life can be boring. Boring isn't bad. Second, sin, like drama, may be fun for a season, but the ecstasy of sin still reserves the right to create misery in your life. And though God is a loving God, and a forgiving God, the mercy of His forgiveness doesn't cancel the miserable consequences of our actions. Thirdly, truth is fun for a lifetime. At the end of the day, we have to protect our self from a culture that celebrates drama and a community of people that proclaims boring can never be beautiful. 

No Wood: Just Real Drama
Finally, I wanted to share with you a man that wasn't shaped by the culture that surrounded him. In life, and in death, this man choose to be shaped not by what his peers thought, but what His savior believed.

His name is Horatio Spafford.

See, Horatio's story is more like a horror story than a fairytale, but like Cinderella it did have some similarities.

They both finished well.

The story goes like this.

In 1861 boy meets girl, Anna. Ecstasy. Couple has four girls. Ecstasy... I guess; have you tried raising four girls? Good Luck! Anyway, four girls. Ecstasy. In 1871 fire burns down the entire city, including the financial fortune he built. Misery. In 1873 wife and daughters go to Paris on the S.S. Ville de Havre ocean liner. Ecstasy. Ship sinks, killing his four daughters. Drama & Misery. Horatio goes and gets Anna; sole family survivor. Relief. During his journey to reunite with his wife the ship's captain shows Horatio the very spot the ship sunk causing the death of his four girls, at which time, he retired to his cabin and penned the song; "It Is Well with My Soul". Perspective based on faith AND ETERNAL SALVATION. Three years after the tragedy the couple gave birth to a young boy, his name was Horatio. Ecstasy. Four years later, in 1880, their boy died. He was four. Devastation, misery, and again, perspective based on a profound faith in Jesus Christ and eternal salvation.

And because of that perspective, THEY, with the Lord's help, put their lives back together and lived happily ever after...
Most likely because it was well with their soul.

Just a sidebar; Horatio later immigrated to Israel, and established what later came to be known as the “American Colony.” Their mission was simply to show the love of Jesus by serving the needs of the poor, afflicted and outcast.

And though I firmly believe that there were many dark days for the Spafford's (how could there not be), I do believe it's safe to say it was well with their soul.

Now that's some real drama, with a Cinderella like ending.

OK, enough already, Celebrity Rehab is getting ready to start.  

Gotta go.

Drama awaits!

sbb 7.2.12


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