War Room Review

war room

This was shown at the church we are attending. War Room is fifth movie from the Kendrick brothers, movie-making ministers at Sherwood Baptist Church; their other movies include “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants.”

The movie’s premise essentially hammers home the message that it’s  incumbent upon the believer’s works in order for God to act. Nothing going your way? Husband about to cheat? [Etc. etc.] Well you better get down on your knees, sister because, well, the reason God isn’t intervening in your life? Well, you’re just not praying enough. As if God needs us to do anything in order for Him to do everything.

Guess the Fundies loved the premise of this movie, though, as I note on IMDB.com that this movie grossed, as of the end of December, 2015, over 67,000,000. It’s the top grossing evangelical movie ever. [The Kendrick’s previous movies also grossed in the millions.]

What would the Kendrick’s say to the pastor and his wife who lost two of their children?  To the friends we have who lost their adult son? To us, who prayed for my father in law when he was ill (he passed away last fall)? To my praying husband, who’s been without work since the end of November, 2015? “Well, you just weren’t praying enough.” I CALL UTTER B.S.   Prayer doesn’t function like some magic genie – rub the genie and your wishes are granted.

Although these days I’m finding it difficult to figure out exactly what prayer does do in my life.  Prayer? Can’t hurt, might help, I guess. Other people’s prayers are seemingly answered or at least God’s given the credit when things work out.

As an aside, things seem pretty hush-hush however when it comes to distribution of all those greenbacks. So, where does all the money go? Is some of it given to the poor? Scholarships set up for kids too poor to go to University? Syrian refugees sponsored? Food banks started? Missionaries sponsored overseas? Or does it all go to finance a uber-wealthy lifestyle for the Kendricks? Wouldn’t be the first time pastors lived high on the hog.

Quit While You’re Ahead

Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: "Television" by Vande Walle Ewoud  https://www.flickr.com/photos/103635341@N02/11346286793/in/photolist-ihCFLn-82tjig-8SKFUn-ihCKUT-cKUCEW-6Kathh-aD9m6B-64wBNU-9dmrST-56oiSP-4vjYS9-7aG7TF-8vvoRi-8K4HmC-8vsJTt-4R6yMg-4ydgPZ-6k49oe-dgzBjU-8vtsqD-8vwHnS-8vttiV-6GiJEm-4ueaaQ-8vwdWd-8vta3M-8vtGqP-8vsCQR-8vxHZ5-8eWNET-bvwAhF-8vt6ck-bxAnne-8vxKwm-8vtyRx-8vuFTD-8vsUSp-bjFumC-5aHooy-8egY3c-5BzKEz-8NjoZf-2T2jWQ-ghLWWW-4WjYdn-agAr25-4YPRaa-4fp1CU-8gPdR9-z2sbh
Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: “Television” by Vande Walle Ewoud https://www.flickr.com/photos/103635341@N02/11346286793/in/photolist-ihCFLn-82tjig-8SKFUn-ihCKUT-cKUCEW-6Kathh-aD9m6B-64wBNU-9dmrST-56oiSP-4vjYS9-7aG7TF-8vvoRi-8K4HmC-8vsJTt-4R6yMg-4ydgPZ-6k49oe-dgzBjU-8vtsqD-8vwHnS-8vttiV-6GiJEm-4ueaaQ-8vwdWd-8vta3M-8vtGqP-8vsCQR-8vxHZ5-8eWNET-bvwAhF-8vt6ck-bxAnne-8vxKwm-8vtyRx-8vuFTD-8vsUSp-bjFumC-5aHooy-8egY3c-5BzKEz-8NjoZf-2T2jWQ-ghLWWW-4WjYdn-agAr25-4YPRaa-4fp1CU-8gPdR9-z2sbh

Here’s a story of a man named John Q. Public.

John Q. Public drops cable/satellite tv because of ridiculous costs, and joins Netflix, subscribes to Apple TV and/or finds other ingenious ways to get content into his home.

At first, the Canadian networks offer their content online for free, until big telecom buys them (Bell owns CTV , Shaw owns Global TV, and Rogers owns City TV. The Canadian government owns CBC network, but since no one watches it anyways, likely there’s little threat to revenues!)

After Big Telecom buys the networks, and indeed purchases most of the cable channels such as HGTV, John Q. can only watch their content online if you have a cable account. (CTV is one exception – according to their website content is online for seven days after first being posted. However, to watch archived content online, you must log in with your subscriber account).

Costs to have cable and/or satellite TV continue to skyrocket.

John Q. Public sighs, figures out a way to get American Netflix from Canada –believing the internet should be borderless—blocks his IP address and streams and downloads more. (If the CRTC is going to block content at the border, why not block violent pron? Just saying…)

More loss of cable subscribers ensue. (I can only surmise Telus Optik TV was a dismal failure, perhaps because if you had it, you changed to a dynamic IP address and thus lost the ability to stream due to no static IP address).

John Q. Public rolls his eyes, makes popcorn, and now nearly all John Q’s content is now streamed and downloaded. He buys a digital antenna to watch the local news.

One of Big Telecomm (Telus, but can Shaw be far behind?) latest moves is to charge for excessive data use, as if trying to get account holders coming and going. http://globalnews.ca/news/1841624/new-telus-data-charges-could-cost-some-netflix-users/

John Q. rolls his eyes once again and ditches Big Telecomm and switches providers, perhaps to a company like this. http://teksavvy.com/

The takeaway? John Q. will find a way to get their content as cheaply as possible and, for every roadblock Big Telecomm tries to put up, some industrious entrepreneur will find a work around.

Big Telecomm should quit while they are ahead.

What Is “Family Time”?

Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: "Television" by Vande Walle Ewoud  https://www.flickr.com/photos/103635341@N02/11346286793/in/photolist-ihCFLn-82tjig-8SKFUn-ihCKUT-cKUCEW-6Kathh-aD9m6B-64wBNU-9dmrST-56oiSP-4vjYS9-7aG7TF-8vvoRi-8K4HmC-8vsJTt-4R6yMg-4ydgPZ-6k49oe-dgzBjU-8vtsqD-8vwHnS-8vttiV-6GiJEm-4ueaaQ-8vwdWd-8vta3M-8vtGqP-8vsCQR-8vxHZ5-8eWNET-bvwAhF-8vt6ck-bxAnne-8vxKwm-8vtyRx-8vuFTD-8vsUSp-bjFumC-5aHooy-8egY3c-5BzKEz-8NjoZf-2T2jWQ-ghLWWW-4WjYdn-agAr25-4YPRaa-4fp1CU-8gPdR9-z2sbh
Obtained under creative commons licence attribution: “Television” by Vande Walle Ewoud https://www.flickr.com/photos/103635341@N02/11346286793/in/photolist-ihCFLn-82tjig-8SKFUn-ihCKUT-cKUCEW-6Kathh-aD9m6B-64wBNU-9dmrST-56oiSP-4vjYS9-7aG7TF-8vvoRi-8K4HmC-8vsJTt-4R6yMg-4ydgPZ-6k49oe-dgzBjU-8vtsqD-8vwHnS-8vttiV-6GiJEm-4ueaaQ-8vwdWd-8vta3M-8vtGqP-8vsCQR-8vxHZ5-8eWNET-bvwAhF-8vt6ck-bxAnne-8vxKwm-8vtyRx-8vuFTD-8vsUSp-bjFumC-5aHooy-8egY3c-5BzKEz-8NjoZf-2T2jWQ-ghLWWW-4WjYdn-agAr25-4YPRaa-4fp1CU-8gPdR9-z2sbh

Answer: Jeopardy!

As a  teen, my husband watched the television show Jeopardy almost nightly with his mother, father and one sibling.   The three of them would gather in the living room and play along with the TV show, guessing the answers aloud, simultaneously with the contestants.   I’m not sure it was my husband’s favorite show on television at the time, in part because his older sibling got almost all the answers right (show off!), but he watched it sacrificially and out of deference to the rest of the family’s interests and desires.  He’s generous like that.

This past Friday and Saturday we were at my in-laws. And, sure enough, my father-in-law wanted Jeopardy on, even though we were in the middle of playing a board game.   The in-laws were happy a new champion was on the show and remarked, in essence, “the other guy had won too much.”  My husband and I, not being followers of the show, hadn’t a clue what they meant. Researching Jeopardy for this post, it’s likely they were referring to recently dethroned Jeopardy champion Arthur Chu.

I’ve never been a huge Jeopardy watcher, but I daresay the contestants need to be blessed with intelligence, good hand-eye co-ordination (to be the first to hit the buzzer) and, last but not least, exceptionally good at thinking on their feet.  It’s easy for those of us who play Jeopardy from our couch to have the correct answer: we aren’t working under pressure to come up with it.

Jeopardy, which celebrated its’ 50th year in television on March 30, 2014 is, according to Steve Beverly, a prof at Union University in Tennessee “the best mental exercise on television”.  http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/28/showbiz/tv/jeopardy-50-years-anniversary/

This makes sense; most TV shows are a completely passive experience for the viewer. That said, our television watching experiences can become quite interactive:   we wince, clutch our stomachs, and moan “show us the bones, the clean,white bones” at the latest dead body on “Bones”. We groan and roll our eyes at the antics of Quinn and Huck on Scandal. We marvel at the fact that Jack Bauer on “24” never has to eat or use the bathroom while chasing terrorists.

In my husband’s family, Jeopardy time was family time. Armchair psychologist that I am, and not lacking in the cynicism department, I wonder if this was a way for the family to bond that wasn’t too threatening emotionally yet still gave the illusion of communication and togetherness.  The equivalent today, I suppose, could be a family in the same time-space continuum, yet each on their smart phones, texting, facebooking and twittering others.