Watch this :: I AM LEGEND

Will Smith's movies are hit or miss for me. Loved "Bad Boys" but hated "Bad Boys 2". Loved "Enemy of the State" but did not care for "Legend of Bagger Vance". But check out his new film out in December...it looks AMAZING! In a 2-minute trailer I was sold...

I AM LEGEND trailer


Blind Reporting :: The truth of the Jena 6

Many of you may have heard of the story currently brewing in Jena, Louisiana. My friend Paul sent this to me as I have been following this case closely for awhile. I was deeply disturbed at what I heard. The Old South had reared its ugly racist again, I thought. But that doesn't seem to be the case...it seems the New Media likes to spin a story of racial injustice to sell more papers.

The Christian Science Monitor has an insightful and stinging commentary on the sad state of this story. Truth manipulated, lazy research and literally believing any story given to them. The author of this article LIVES in Jena has been reporting on it from the beginning. Please read this article and realize it is pertinent for us to remain educated as people and not simply informed.

Review :: Lives of Others

Rating :: A Sonata by Beethoven while sipping warm tea on a dreary day

Hailing from Germany, the winner of last year's Oscar for 'Best Foreign Film' is a stark portrayal of Communist life in East Germany (the DDR) in an era too easily forgotten. A time when you could not trust even your lovers because the State had invaded every facet of life...constantly watching and listening to every move, waiting to pounce on even a hint of dissension.

The story follows the lives of Georg Dreyman (a playwright played masterfully by Sebastian Koch) and Christa-Maria Sieland (an acclaimed actress played tragically by Martina Gedeck) who are lovers and who have no secret the Secret Police don't know although, of course, unknown to them. Ulrich Muhe plays Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler, the Secret Police investigator who delves into their lives with sadistic intensity only to find himself transformed in the process.

An amazing portrayal of life under scrutiny and investigation by the State and how life becomes more of prison than an opportunity under the former Communist regime. A reminder of the blessings we often forget living in a democracy...the freedom to speak freely, worship freely, create freely and love without fear.


Taking it deeper...

One of the things I love about a healthy life group is self-awareness and a desire to move deeper. You can ask questions about where you are and where you want to go without much fear. You reach a crossroads where decisions must be made.

At our last Life Group one of our members said frankly she wanted to move into some of the deepest questions of faith. The rest of the group echoed the sentiment and we dived in. So we've taken an exciting turn after a lot of time spent getting to know each other, our stories and gathering the trust together necessary to have a conversation of faith. And I'm looking forward to where this goes as we use Greg Boyd's book "Letters from a Skeptic" as a catalyst.


Helmet Cam to the rescue!

I found this little helmet camera online last week and decided to buy it for God knows what...but the possibilities are endless. How about Pastor Cam? Ever wondered what your pastor sees when he preaches? How about kid cam? I've always wondered what the world would look like through their eyes especially since I'm 6'5". We'll see where this goes...


Something to laugh about on a cloudy day

This is rap's pure essence...an amazing tribute by Eastern Europe's music legacy.


Four Corners Church :: Sunday, October 7th

Message: "Porn Sunday"
A candid conversation about the problem of pornography and practical help for those who want it.

Music Set:
Absolute - Thousand Foot Crutch
Hand that holds the world - Starfield
Marvelous Light - Charlie Hall
Majesty - Martin Smith
Happy Day - Tim Hughes

Special Elements:
"Elephant in the Room" (short film)

Porn Sunday

Four Corners just wrapped up Porn Sunday and it was AWESOME! Not only did Ben speak bluntly about God's perspective on porn and also gave people first steps if they want but we also got way more press than we expected from the event. Nearly every Cincinnati TV Station and Newspaper covered the event since it's not every day a church talks about porn. Check out our website for all the links to the various stories. Thanks to all who helped make it happen!


Arcade Fire

A good friend of mine, Matt, invited me to the Arcade Fire concert tomorrow and I'm excited to see them live. Doing some reading on the band and their latest release "Neon Bible" was a fascinating adventure. Their lyrics are not superficial and sugary but reveal a depth found few other places.

Christianity Today had an interesting article about the band. The album was recorded in an old church and speaks scathing critique and soaring praise of religion. The lyrics are chalked full of biblical allusion and challenge.

"There are two kinds of fear," Win Butler, lead singer, said. "The Bible talks a lot about fear of God—fear in the face of something awesome. That kind of fear is the type of fear that makes someone want to change. But a fear of other people makes you want to stay the same, to protect what you have. It's a stagnant fear; and it's paralyzing."

One would be hard-pressed to call the album a ringing endorsement of faith and God, but the band shows an honest side as it deals with religion and its practice these days.

Butler said Neon Bible is ultimately about "addressing religion in a way that only someone who actually cares about it can. It's really harsh at times, but from the perspective of someone who thinks it has value."

Needless to say I'm excited to see them tomorrow night...

The Israel Craze

I was listening to NPR this morning and heard an amazing story about 7000 Evangelical Christians in Israel this week to show their support for the Holy Land. Many don't often associate Judism and Christianity as bedfellows these days...Christianity marks itself by its strong and often aggressive exercise of converting others while that practice in Judism is not a thrust. But the "partnership" is hard to say no to for Israel when over the past 20 years, evangelical Christians have contributed billions of dollars to Israel.

I don't know where I stand on this right now but myself uneasy at remarks similar to this:

"The true and living God wants his people to be in an undivided Israel, undivided Jerusalem," he says. "There should be no more give-backs. Every time we give back the land of Israel, something happens in the United States. Katrina followed the give-back of the Gaza."

Anytime a "connection" between current events and God happens (i.e. 9/11 was God's punishment, Katrina was God washing out gambling, etc) I get wary. I can't say it is not true with certainty (although pretty sure it's not) but feel talking with such fervor over a connection does nothing but often spill gas of fires meant to remain sparks.

Four Corners Church :: Sunday, October 1st

Series Message: "Your Best Payout" in the Jackpot Series
God has a calling for all of us...we're talk frankly about discovering your purpose.

Music Set:
More that Ever - Robbie Reider & Allan Fuller
Everything Glorious - David Crowder Band
O Praise Him - David Crowder Band
Wholly Yours - David Crowder Band
Let Us Be - Robbie Reider
Everlasting God - Lincoln Brewster

Special Elements:
"Spiritual Gift of Dodgeball" (video)
"Porn Sunday Promo :: Save a Bunny" (video)



"It's now thought of virtuous to avoid offending....virtuous to avoid conflict."
(Rush Limbaugh following the "controversy" of the phony soldiers)


My personal growth and capacity

I finished reading Andy Stanley's "Next Generation Leader" a bit ago and felt a strong urge to take strides in my own personal growth and capacity. So I'm looking for a mentor...someone to help me grow and spread my wings beyond their current span. If I want to have an impact and influence on "my world" then I clearly need to learn much, much more.

A break that lasts a little too long

It's been awhile since I last blogged and I can feel it and miss it. I'm ready to start the engines again...