Good Christian B****es

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Okay, Hollywood- are you really giving us this show? I sometimes get edgy when the entertainment industry takes on spiritual issues. It often feels like they have no regard for their great contributions to the dialogue on faith. It’s my understanding that hospital shows like ER, Grey’s Anatomy and even Scrubs employed actual medical doctors to sit with the writers and tweak out the details of their profession to be shown accurately. Hollywood seems to take no similar measures with theologians.

But I’ll still watch it. Chalk it up to morbid curiosity. And that Kristen Chenoweth cracks me up.

The story begins with Amanda Vaughn’s lavish southern California house being repossessed after investigations into her late husbands illicit business dealings. In an act of desperation, Amanda and her two teenage children pick up and move back with her mother in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. If that prodigal son imagery weren’t blatant enough for you, Kristen Chenoweth’s character, Carlene Cockburn, takes time in church to recount that parable, except her version appears in no Bible I own, giving emphasis to the son’s deeply expressed repentance.

Except if this story really played out like the prodigal son, there would be no series, just a silly pilot that wouldn’t be able to sell it’s ad time. But maybe that’s the appeal of this show- highlighting that we are broken people living in a broken world, striving our best, yet failing horribly. And that in some places, it’s the most “Christian” among us that ignore this truth.

Hypocrisy can be funny. I’m going to give the producers of the show the benefit of the doubt and assume that that’s what they set out to show, but there’s a limited potential for humor there, in my opinion. I’m curious to see how long this show will last. Reviews were mediocre.

Did you watch the show- what’dya think?

(By the way, there’s a whole other rant I could’ve gone on about how I HATE the b-word. Another day, Cortney. Another day)

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God’s Funny Bone

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Has anyone else had a very unholy event that led them down a spiritual journey? Just me? Let me explain.

Years ago, I had the great joy of getting to live in Louisville, Kentucky during Derby which I figure is the second best thing to to living in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I had a Louisville native friend who brought home a car-full of his seminary buddies and I went to go meet up with them at one of the crowded bars that night. My friend introduced all of his seminary buddies and that is how I met him- tall, dark and handsome with piercing blue eyes like a Siberian husky, you know the type. For the purpose of this blog I’ll refer to as Jon Hamm. Not only does he look like the actor, but he reminds me of Jon Hamm’s recurring guest role on 30 Rock as Dr. Baird.

Now, to be fair, I was equally stunning that night. I had on a J.Crew halter dress with a low back and a makeshift Derby hat that I insisted on wearing out to the bars, even though nobody does that. We spent the night enjoying our alcohol induced flirtation and the warm night time that I love Kentucky summers for.

Now my friend Jon Hamm will be getting married this summer and (spoiler alert!) I won’t be the bride. Because this isn’t a story of how I met the love of my life- instead a story of how I got on this trajectory that I’m still riding (just like 99% of the episodes of How I Met Your Mother). Because that night, instead of just becoming interested in him, I became interested in this thing called the Young Adult Service Corps, which he talked about because he was just 2 months away from going to South Africa to serve as a missionary for a year.
And 6 months later, I was the one applying to be a part of the Young Adult Service Corps. The following summer as he was returning to the states after his year of mission work in South Africa, I left for mine. The rest, as they say, is history.
What started as a rush of pheromones ended with me giving a whole year of my life (I mean a solid 365 days) to God’s mission. And even that has now developed to more. Am I the only one that can almost hear God laughing when I retell this story? Not a vindictive “gotcha!” laugh, but a promising laugh, a delighted laugh. When Abraham’s wife Sarah gave birth to their only son years after her child-bearing years, they named him Isaac, which translates to “he laughs.”And like I suppose Abraham and Sarah did, some of my prayers consist of nothing more than me laughing with God.
Where has God laughed in your life?

Cortney’s Oscar Picks…

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… solely based on the movies I took the time to see and liked:

Best picture: Inglorious Basterds
Best director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Best Actress: Gaboury Sidibe, Precious
Best supporting actor: Matt Damon, Invictus
Best supporting actress: Mo’nique, Precious
Best animated feature film: Up