DHD: Mike Pence, Oklahoma filming, Thanksgiving thoughts, C.S. Lewis, Cliff Barrows
I originally considered not doing a DHD this week, but I have some time to share some thoughts on six timely topics. It’s currently Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, so while everybody is swarming the grocery store, I’ll just stay right here and offer you some reading material.
- Hamilton duels Pence
There’s been too much commentary about Vice President-elect Mike Pence going to see the Broadway play Hamilton, his reception of “boos” and the impromptu lecture from the stage Pence received. I’m late in the game bringing it up now, but I offer two takeaways from this experience:
There will be more public outcry. A lot of people are not happy with the results of this presidential election, and I firmly believe this theater incident will be small potatoes compared to future confrontations. Popular actors and musicians, mainstream media personalities and professional athletes have access to widely-viewed resources. Expect more dissonance in award speeches, interviews, news commentaries, turning down White House visits, song releases, subtle (and not-so subtle) messages in TV shows and movies.
Pence displayed humility, graciousness and wisdom. The VP-elect gave a great response when he was interviewed about his Broadway visit. He said he shared with his daughter and other family members, after the “boo-birds” happened, “this is what freedom sounds like.” He complimented the musical production, and he gave an assuring message that he and the president-elect genuinely desire unity in this country and intend to pursue it in the upcoming presidency. This was the best way for Pence to respond, and he set a great example for others who face discord.
- Upcoming faith-based movie to be filmed in Oklahoma
I was invited to a special luncheon this week to meet Jon Erwin, film director, who, with his brother Andrew, made Christian movies such as October Baby, Mom’s Night Out and Woodlawn. Of the three, I have only seen Woodlawn, which was excellent. I wrote a review about it, and interviewed lead actor Caleb Castille.
The luncheon drew many OKC-area church leaders, media members and people involved in local entertainment productions (commercials and area broadcasts). There was a bunch of us crammed into a small dining area.
At first, I wasn’t sure what this luncheon involved. The guy who invited me said I should come (I was half listening at the time), and since it was a free lunch, why not?
I’m glad I went. After I put it all together, that it involved one of the guys who filmed Woodlawn, I was focused when Erwin got up to speak.
He rambled quite a bit, but it added some entertainment value, and he shared a lot of fascinating stories of how he got involved in the movie-making business. All of this to say, the Erwin Brothers are planning to film a movie in Oklahoma based on the story behind the popular Christian song “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe.
Erwin gushed about how much he loved Oklahoma. He used descriptions such as welcoming, gorgeous, beautiful and cinematic. Apparently he’s covered quite a bit of the state because he even mentioned Black Mesa in the panhandle.
The production crew is making a casting call for extras to appear in the movie. Those interested in being featured in the film can visit www.icanonlyimaginefilm.com.
- Thanksgiving with family
Though I started this DHD on Wednesday afternoon, I’m concluding late Wednesday evening, which means the earliest possibility of you reading this will be on Thanksgiving Day.
Maybe you’re taking a peak on social media while waiting for the big meal to begin. Maybe you’re among extended family members of whom you don’t seem to meet eye-to-eye on various social topics.
Let me encourage you to check out Russell Moore’s piece “Navigating Family Tensions at the Holidays.” There’s a lot of practical wisdom shared with some funny family scenarios.
“Often Christians veer toward Satanism at holiday time because we, deep down, pride ourselves on knowing the truth of the gospel. The rage you feel when Uncle Happy says why ‘many roads lead to God’ might be more about the fact that you want to be right than that you want him to be resurrected.”
- A Thanksgiving Thought
I read a great commentary in the Life Application Bible on Psalm 92:1-2 – “It is good to give thanks to the Lord to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.”
Here’s the commentary:
“During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be on our lips every day. We can never say thank you enough to parents, friends, leaders and especially to God. When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving and humble.”
May we all strive toward being thankful every day.
- Facts on C.S. Lewis
I may have already known this, but I was reminded again that famous Christian author C.S. Lewis died the same day President Kennedy was assassinated – Nov. 22, 1963. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Lewis’ death in 2013, Joe Carter wrote a great article “9 Things You Should Know About C.S. Lewis.”
Check out Carter’s list, and you’ll find out Lewis was friends with another great literary writer, as well as what Billy Graham and the Pope said about Lewis.
- Remembering Cliff Barrows
Longtime crusade song leader and ministry partner of Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows died last week. I always connect leaders of the Billy Graham Crusades with my father, as he made a profession of faith when Graham and crew came to Oklahoma City long ago.
If you ever experienced Barrows lead worship in singing, you wouldn’t forget it. His voice and personality would rank among famous talk show hosts. He had a way to inspire thousands to join the crusade choir in singing “Because He Lives” or “Great is thy Faithfulness.”
Billy Graham’s website has a great tribute to Barrows. Read about one of the most prolific worship leaders of modern day.