Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rocky Balboa Christian Resources?

Last year I put together an event at my church to go see "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe." I found all kinds of materials off the web and through the mail. For the last year I've received materials related to some other movies. I expected the stuff for "Charlotte's Web" since it was put out by Walden Media (same folks that did Narnia). But I wasn't expecting what I received in the mail yesterday, a DVD of resources for Christian leaders related to the new movie "Rocky Balboa." I was interested to see this latest Rocky film, but figured I'd wait for the DVD (I don't get to go to the movies much anyway). Now, I'm really curious. I hadn't heard about Christian angles in this film yet. I had heard good things about it, but this is a new one to me. I really enjoy looking for Christian angles in films. Over the last year I felt that both "Cars" and "Superman Returns" had some great potential for messages. During our regular devotional time here at One Way Street, some of our staff have been sharing Christian messages they've gotten from movies. We've had everything from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to "Babette's Feast" used. If anyone has seen "Rocky Balboa" I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Blizzard of '06

I have the longest driveway in Highlands Ranch, CO. No joke! It's weird, there are some absolutely mammoth houses in Highlands Ranch, mine is not one of them. In fact, mine is pretty much on the opposite end of the spectrum. Yet my driveway is probably 3 times longer than some of the mansions across town. It's because my house is right on a rounded corner, so we have a long lot. It's actually pretty cool because it means my backyard is larger too. But when you get over 2 feet of snow, having a long driveway is no fun.

Denver got socked by a massive snow storm on Wednesday. We had to shut down the offices here at One Way Street. It's only the 2nd time in the last 12 years that we've had to do that. I managed to get into the office today (Friday), but my driveway is still not completely shoveled. And I wasn't even able to make it all the way in to the office. I had to park at the Wal-Mart down the street since our parking lot is still pretty much snowed in.

We're going to have a white Christmas for sure. Not to mention huge piles of snow and an ice skating rink where my street used to be. It's funny to watch my neighbors sometimes when it snows like this. They get so anxious to get out, they pull out their four-wheel drive vehicles and start cruising up and down the street as early as they can. Trying to cut a path so people can drive on the street, they zoom around with the windows open shouting "Yee-Ha" like their auditioning for the direct-to-video sequel to "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Well, at least we're back up and running at One Way Street. There's just 5 of us here so far, but that's a start.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I-Fest Blog

One Way Street has sponsored I-Fest (The International Festival of Christian Puppetry and Ventriloquism) since it began in 1996. I've been at every I-Fest except kids were both born within weeks of an I-Fest, sorry but child birth takes priority over puppetry. Anyway, I have just started up the I-Fest Blog ( This is the place to go to find out all the latest news on what's going to be happening at I-Fest 2007, July 9-14, 2007 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. Bourbonnais is right outside of Kankakee, about 50 miles south of Chicago. The blog will feature news, announcements and "I-Fest Flashbacks" featuring highlights from past years.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and the Hairy

Well, a new year is approaching. Of course, that means the new Chick-Fil-A calendar is out! At our office we have a lot of fans of Chick-Fil-A. In fact, several years ago on a trip to Atlanta several of us made a pilgrimage of sorts to The Dwarf House, which is the original Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Oddly enough, you can actually buy a hamburger at that location. The Chick-Fil-A ad campaign featuring the cows who try to convince folks to "Eat Mor Chikn" is a great one and the yearly calendar is well worth the $5 for the coupons you get and a lot of laughs looking at the pictures. This year it's cows in the old west!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7, 1941

Today is an important day which I think doesn't often receives the recognition it deserves. Today is the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. My Grandpa was serving in the US Navy in 1941, and he served for a time on USS Arizona, which now sits at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. It is my understanding, that he was transferred off the Arizona shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

My Grandpa died when I was in the 6th grade. I never understood then much about what he did in World War II. I knew he was in the navy, I knew he had some interesting tattoos, but I just wasn't old enough to really understand the significance of the war. Now that I'm older, I wish I had been a bit older then and been able to understand. I know from my mother that he didn't like talking about the war and that even the fireworks at the fourth of July were too difficult for him to be around because the sounds were too similar to the sounds of war. Even though I know it would've been difficult for him, I wish I had been old enough for him to share what he went through with me. It is important for us not to loose the history these brave men experienced.

One of the most amazing experiences for me in recent years was when I spent all of about five minutes on a bus at the airport with a man and his wife who were returning from a reunion of WWII Navy Veterans. He was wearing military medals and such, so I knew they had just come from something significant. When I asked the significance of the items they had, the wife responded "Are you familiar with the story of the Indianapolis?" I was pretty sure I did, in the back of my mind I thought "that's the boat Quint tells a story about in "Jaws", right?" I didn't tell her that for fear of embarrassing myself if I was wrong, but I was right. The Indianapolis was sunk right at the end of the war. A very small number of men survived. Many died because the rescue just didn't come soon enough and the waters were shark infested. As this man told me his story for just the few minutes I was with him, I thought "this is a true hero." I will never forget that bus ride.

So, on this Dec 7 I say thanks to all those who served so bravely then, like my Grandpa Key, and now, like my Cousin Eric. We are in your debt.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Zod '08

Looks like Kryptonian bad guy General Zod is making a run for the White House in 2008, rather than just tearing the roof off and announcing himself ruler. Check out the very funny Zod 2008 website.

I have to admit having a special place for the Superman movies in my movie geek heart. Richard Donner's 1978 film "Superman" is still the standard by which all other comic book adaptations are judged. "Superman II," featuring his royal Zod-ness, was also a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to seeing the new Richard Donner cut of the movie, which was just released on DVD. Get the whole story behind the two versions on "Superman II" here. Off course, "Superman III" and "Superman IV: The Quest were Peace" were terrible. So was the spin-off "Supergirl," but that film has a lovable campiness, and a great Jerry Goldsmith music score. I also really enjoyed this year's "Superman Returns."

Anyway, start preparing yourselves to "Kneel before Zod" in '08.