Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Proverbs 31 woman.


On Saturday I had the honor of attending a very close friend's wedding. (Yeah, another one!) She is pictured here. I totally expected to have a great time and enjoy myself while I was there. What I didn't expect is how the wedding would impact me spiritually. There was a moment during the ceremony where the minister described what the bride, my friend, wanted in a husband. I, having known her, knew what that was already, but there was something about hearing it again at her wedding that made me think. The minister said that she "wanted a man who loved God more than he loved her." I knew that this guy was just the case. But then I realized something, that deep down, that's what I want in a wife. It was at that moment that I realized that I had set my standards lower. Thereafter, my mind raced back to a scripture passage that has become well known for its description of a godly woman: Proverbs 31. There it states that "charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Once again, God's Word had confirmed what my heart was yelling at me. I felt like God was saying "David, don't lower your standards for a woman in order to meet some standard set by man that falls short of what I have for you." God had removed the veil from my eyes. That night, for the first time in years, I knelt by my bed to thank God for what he had shown me and just talked to Him for a while and proceeded to pray for some people in my life as well. Here, 3 days later, I still feel like I'm on the mountain.

I say all that to say this:

1. You have access to this level of intimacy with God everyday if you just take the time to talk to Him and read His Word.

2. Don't lower your standards for a spouse, but at the same time don't fool yourself into thinking that you deserve a spouse wrapped in a pretty package with all the trimmings.

3. Sometimes God humbles us before he can bless us.

4. Pride blinds us from the rewards God places right in front of our eyes.

I pray that God will work in your heart as He has in mine.

--DF

Monday, June 22, 2009

The case for watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in IMAX



So, by now you've seen the ads, you've heard the hype and now it's nearly here. I'm talking, of course, of the upcoming sequel to the 2007 blockbuster Transformers. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sam Witwicky, and yes, the gorgeous Megan Fox, are back. What I have come to realize, however, is how little people know about the fact that it will be shown in IMAX. So I'm hear to plead the case for why you should see this film in the best format possible and also to explain the difference between the conventional film that's shown at most theaters, the one in fake IMAX (being shown at AMC Lynnhaven in VA Beach and most big city multiplexes) , and the one in 15/70 IMAX (the one at the Air and Space Center and other institutions across the country). Here's my list of the reasons to see Transformers 2 in IMAX.

1. The sound is better. For some people, this doesn't mean much, but for me it's a big difference. Not only do you get to hear it in surround sound like conventional theaters, but the wattage is higher, 16000 watts to be precise, therefore making the detail in the sound crisper and creating a more immersive environment. But you also get great sound in fake IMAX. So let's move to the next reason.

2. The 5 story screen. For many, this is the reason to go to IMAX in the first place. Nowhere else can you see a film displayed on such a large screen. Starting from the floor going 5 stories up, the screen consumes the room. It is massive. Not only does it enhance the images and make them more rich in detail, but it also creates a sense of motion and wonder while watching the film. For most feature films, the film is displayed only in a widescreen format, meaning that you have black bars on the top and bottom of the IMAX screen. However, in the case of Transformers 2...

3. Portions of the film were shot in IMAX. Just as Christopher Nolan did with 6 sequences in The Dark Knight, Michael Bay selected 4 scenes to shoot in IMAX. What this means is 3 things: The first is that these scenes will take up the entirety of the 5 story screen, something you cannot get anywhere else. The second is that you will see 4K rendered animation for the first time ever in IMAX. The third is that you will get to see a full scale version of Optimus Prime on the giant IMAX screen. If you go to a conventional theater or fake IMAX, the IMAX sequences that were filmed will be virtually invisible to the audience, and the picture shown will be cut off. So, if you're going to see the movie, go see it in IMAX.

To see the difference in the film formats, go here.


A video explaining the fake IMAX scam.



Note: I will also add that I plan on seeing the film on Wednesday night. Following the viewing, I will write a review. While I do recommend the format, I may not recommend the film. That being said, if you plan on seeing the film regardless of what I have to say about the film in my upcoming review, see it in IMAX.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day



Today I celebrate along with you the most important male in my life apart from Christ. I celebrate my father. My dad is pretty sweet. For those of you who have met my dad, you would probably agree. What's really weird, though, is how similar we both are. We walk similar, we have similar handwriting, although he won't admit it, we have the same sense of humor, but most importantly, my Dad and I both love Jesus. But that's something that he instilled in me, not something that came by heredity. Basically from birth, he and my mom made sure that I was in church on every Sunday except for vacations and also got me to learn Bible verses through various means including scripture songs, reading the Bible to me, and videos. In fact, my first experience with Anime was a Bible cartoon series called Superbook, which I still think is pretty sweet.

More than all of that though, my dad lives his faith. He feeds the homeless, he helps out around the house, he meets with friends to pray for the local area, he volunteers at Waters Edge Church, and he loves my Mom like a husband should love his wife. Well, on most days, anyways. He also raises his hands during worship, which to me is a big deal. For a man to not worry about what other people think and to forsake pride to show appreciation for who God is, wow, that's big.

My dad and I also work and work out at the same place. I also live at home for right now, so yeah, we see a lot of each other. But as you can see, for the reasons described above, that's not a problem. I love my dad.

So, today, we celebrated him at lunch. We made some burgers and handed out gifts. I got him one of his favorite movies, Master and Commander. I think he really enjoyed it.

Afterwards, my brother, my sister, my dad, and I went over to my Grandparents' house to wish a happy Father's Day to my Grandpa and to play Sequence. It's basically a game where you try to put cards in order based on a game board layout. That was a lot of fun. I won a game. Afterwards, my siblings left cuz they had some stuff to do and I played Yahtzee with my dad and Grandma. We played a total of 4 games. I did horrible on the first 1, ok on the 2nd and 3rd, but the 4th, the 4th was hands down, the best Yahtzee game I've ever played in my entire life. I mean, you're gonna think it was rigged and I didn't. Here's the scorecard:


So, as you can see, not only did I get the bonus from the upper section, but I got every major point score in the lower section, the best possible 3 and 4 of a kind. This is a score that has made me believe that it might be divine intervention and that God may have chosen to bless me with a little thing that gives me joy like a big Yahtzee win. But he blessed me so much more by giving me my father, Steve Ferrell.

Superbook's first episode:
Part 1:



Part 2:



Part 3:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Free Concert

Last night I went to another concert. In fact, it was another NeedtoBreathe concert. But don't worry, they played some different stuff. They were the opening band, but I actually enjoyed them more than the headliner, Lifehouse. Sure, Lifehouse is good and has several radio hits, but NeedtoBreathe just sounded better to me and I think Lifehouse suffers from radio overplay syndrome. Also, they have that one song that gets played at almost every wedding I've been to and if it's played tonight at the wedding I'm going to, that will be the 4th time in a week that I've heard the song. You know what song I'm talking about. I don't even have to say the name. Still, they played some of their old stuff, which I greatly enjoyed. Plus, I got to hang with some great people from one of my favorite places in the world, Waters Edge Church. Here's a video from one of my favorite Lifehouse songs, just in case you're too young too remember this song, or you're like me and like remembering songs from your past.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Glory at the Gardens: NeedtoBreathe and Revive

















This Sunday I had the privilege to see 2 rockin' bands. The best part is that it was sort of free. I had to pay to get into the venue, but the concert itself was free. I'm speaking of course about Glory at the Gardens, the Christian concert event at Busch Gardens. Last year was the first year, but unfortunately I was unable to make it to the show I wanted to go to. So this year, I decided I'd go. The list of performers were Revive, NeedtoBreathe, and Third Day. I stayed for the first two. Revive was good. My only complaint is that they didn't sound too unique. They sounded pretty much like every other good worship band I've heard of, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. They had some good songs, none of which I can remember, but while they were on stage I was entertained. The second band was the reason I came to the show in the first place, NeedtoBreathe. I had never seen them before, but I did have high expectations after listening to both their albums repeatedly. To say they were entertaining would be putting it lightly. NeedtoBreathe rocked my socks. They have a very different sound and the thing I like most about them is that they simultaneously sing songs about their beliefs and about everyday life. My personal belief is that is the way Christians should do music. Too often I think that Christian bands feel they have to put "Christianese" into their music and not really speak about problems that everyone has to face. This is one of the main reasons why I like bands like NeedtoBreathe, Switchfoot, and Flyleaf. They sing songs that everyone can relate to, not just to Christians. Not only that, but they play with bands like Korn, Blue October, and Lifehouse to reach a wider audience. Isn't that what Jesus did? He went to the places sinners went to spread His message.

After NeedtoBreathe left the stage Third Day played, but I had left the arena before they came on. If you want an explanation of why I don't like Third Day, go watch The Pothen Podcast Episode 6 (available on iTunes only). I ended up spending time with some church friends and rode The Gryffon again. I do plan on going back on the 28th to see TobyMac. Expect a post here after the show.

Songs by NeedtoBreathe that you should download legally from iTunes or other available outlet:

"Knew it All" and "Shine On" (from their album Daylight)
"Streets of Gold" , "More Time", "Signature of Divine (Yahweh)", and "Washed by the Water" (from their album The Heat)

Here's a little video for ya.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Phil Poteat Unplugged

One of my favorite things in the world is acoustic music. One of my favorite singers is the world famous Phil Poteat, the worship leader at my church, Waters Edge. Tonight he's playing at Tuscany's Coffee House and I'm coming to you live from the restaurant. He started off with Move Along by The All American Rejects. It's pretty chill. Everybody's just hanging out having a good time doing whatever and Phil's just jammin in the background. If you couldn't make it, he will be playing on Wednesday at UNO's, which I plan on attending as well. Well, that's all for now. More after the show. Cya!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Film Review - Up


This summer season hasn't been all that friendly in terms of film. It started off horribly. The first movie I saw of the summer season was X-Men Origins: Wolverine and if you read my blog, you know what I thought of it. It was a cliche-ridden piece of filth with equally, if not worse dialogue and plot holes to numerous to mention. Then there was Star Trek. I have yet to write a review of that film, but I will say that I enjoyed it. It was worth seeing, but that was about it. So, up that point my confidence in Summer movies was pretty low, especially after hearing how bad Terminator faired. Meanwhile, the reviews from the Cannes Film Festival came in. And the reviews for this film were overwhelmingly positive. So I said to myself, I HAVE to see this movie. I'm a huge fan of animation, especially animation that exceeds over the rest like Hayao Miyazaki has done with some films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke and Pixar has done that throughout the course of their history. So I was expecting great things. Thankfully, it not only met my expectations, but exceeded them greatly.

Up, to put it simply, is an amazing film. Ed Asner stars as Carl Frederickson, an old man living alone with a dream of one day going to see Paradise Falls. So one day he gets a huge amount of balloons, attaches them to his house and away he goes. Little does he know, that Russell, a wilderness explorer that he met earlier, is outside on the front porch. The two of them take a journey and come across many peculiar things including an exotic bird, dogs with voice collars, and encounters that bring back memories of a time gone but not forgotten.

The film is rich in character and story and are the driving force of this film. What makes it even better is that the rich colors and effects used in the film support it. I've seen so many films that drown out the story by using huge amounts of money on special effects. Up shows the world that a movie is to be more about the next big event or action sequence or one big star, but about the story and the people you meet along the way and what you can learn by spending a short amount of time with them. After I left this film, I felt that I had a little glimpse into the mind of the main character Carl. I had invested so much of my emotion into his character that it felt that some of his experiences I had shared with him. That's the sign of a great film. One that will definitely be remembered by me at the end of the year.

David's rating: SEE IT
David's unofficial rating: ****(4 stars)

David's rating key:

SEE IT - Go see it, it's worth watching
SKIP IT - It isn't worth your time or money.

David's unofficial rating key:

4 stars - I'd pay the full price to see the movie twice and recommend it to everyone (Example: Up)
3.5 stars - Better than good, but I found something a little wrong with it. (Example:
3 stars - good, but not great. I'd see it once in theaters (Example: Star Trek)
2.5 stars - middling. I thought this movie was going somewhere, but in the end was disappointing. (Example: Titanic)
2 stars - A genuinely bad movie (Example: X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
1.5 stars - A genuinely bad movie that didn't have much to talk about, but wasn't the bottom of the barrell (Example: Jumper)
1 star - a piece of trash film that is inside the barrel, but not at the bottom. (Example: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days)
.5 stars - A really, really bad movie that I could barely sit through. (Example: Batman and Robin)
0 stars - I hated, hated, hated this movie and was genuinely offended by it (Example: The trailer for The Love Guru because of course I'm not going to see that movie... ever )

Opening Weekend at Waters Edge

So, yesterday I commented that I was going to the Waters Edge grand opening. Yesterday night and this morning I experienced it and it was amazing. First off, I went to the grand opening picnic last night. It was great fun. I sat with my good friends Scott and his wife Jessie. We had amazing food (barbecue, slaw, baked beans) , giveaways of "Limited Edition Waters Edge Beverage Containers" (how many of those things did they make?), moon jumping for the kids (those really big inflatable things), and a great ribbon cutting ceremony complete with fireworks and a ticker tape dispensing helicopter. Wow!

But that was just the beginning. This morning we had an amazing opening service. For the first time in Waters Edge history we had an acrobat on stage performing her talents on a cloth slightly longer than the length between the stage and the ceiling. Man, that takes skill to be able to balance yourself so well.

Also, the band did a great job. Props to my peeps in the band, Phil, Mike, Jon, Keren, Larry, and the bass guitarist who's still awesome but I don't know his name. They started off with a performance of Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve while a video was playing chronicling our history with footage I haven't seen in a very long time to more recent stuff. The band also played that song while the acrobat was performing. After the performance, Phil entered the scene with Rob Shepherd doing "Get this Party Started", a song by one of my favorite Christian artists, if not my absolute favorite, TobyMac, who, by the way, will be playing at Busch Gardens June 28th.

After that, Stu came up and gave a little introduction with his family and thanked some people who were integral in getting our building built. We then sang two worship songs, including my favorite, "From the Inside Out" by Joel Huston from Hillsong. Then Stu gave a sermon on enduring hardship to find God's reward. All in all an amazing service. I can't to see what else God has in store for Waters Edge. It's gonna be great!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New in my life


Well, I have good news everyone. I am moving to a different position at my job. Yes, gone are the days of working on this project I've been working on for 2 years and I have to say that I could not be happier. I'll be working in the same building, but moving to a different department, which is probably a good thing since my dad and I won't be working in the same department anymore.

Also, and this is long overdue, my friend Jamey finally got married. He's been married for almost 2 weeks now. (See pic on left)

I also went to my church's first service at OUR NEW BUILDING!!!! Woohoo!!!!! This weekend we're having our grand opening. Games, barbecue, music, and a ribbon cutting ceremony. It should be pretty sweet. Sunday is our grand opening service and we're fully expecting to be it packed. I have to say I love the new building. Gone are the uncomfortable chairs, bad noise, locker rooms, floor mats, and drilling up the basketball hoops (which I kinda miss, actually), replaced with a worship center with amazing sound (though a bit loud) and 2 big screens, a Kid Kraze room that looks like a back alley complete with carpet squares for the small groups, electronic check in, HD screens in the lobby. The list goes on. I love it!!! I can't wait to go back again Sunday.

Well, that's all for now. Later, dudes.