Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Where Your Treasure Is

"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also."
     Luke 12 v 33-34

"Sell your possessions." Sounds pretty difficult doesn't it. Could you do it? Could you give away everything that isn't essential to your existence?
     Most of us have more things that we even know what to do with, things that aren't necessary, but still we don't feel like parting with them. Yet here is a command to sell everything! The reason it seems hard though can be found in the second sentence. "For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." If we make our possessions our treasure, we will not want to let them go, even to help someone else. But if our treasure is in heaven, earthly things lose their importance. Remember we will all die one day and our possessions will be worthless.

Still we worry about how we will live without our possessions, but Jesus says, "I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear." (Luke 12 v 22) And he said that 2000 years ago!

But how about the things that are precious to us, how can we sell them. Well Jesus is not necessarily demanding you to get rid of everything important to you, he does not wish us to be upset, or in need ourselves, in fact he wishes to bless us abudantly. However if we are to pass on what we have it is hardest to sell those things that mean the most to us because in our eyes they are priceless. And how do you sell something that is priceless? Well, you can't, so the only option is to give it freely, finding someone who needs it and will look after it.

This is all very tough, and will remain tough until we change our perspective. We need to stop judging our lives by what we own, they should not define us. How can they?
     "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12 v 15b)
What do we really need, and where is our focus? Lets keep things real!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Impossible and Les Miserables

I'm feeling very emotionally drained after two consecutive nights at the cinema, so I thought I put up a couple of reviews.

Last night I saw The Impossible, which, if you don't know, is about the tsunami that hit South East Asia on Boxing Day in 2004. The film is the true story of a family who decided to spend the holiday at a beach resort in Thailand. Henry (McGregor), his wife Maria (Watts) and their three sons experienced the full horror of the disaster and the film relays that horror in detail, from the grotesque injuries to the pain of separation and not knowing if your family are alive. All this is pieced up with wide shots of mass devastation and rows of dead bodies waiting to be claimed. As you can imagine the film is very intense and made more so by the dramatic way it has been filmed with long chaotic sequences underwater or in the hospital.
     The acting is good, as you would expect, although they mostly spend their time lying on beds looking tired and ill or swimming around in murky water. More plaudits should go to the director Juan Antonio Bayona for the hard hitting way he has put together this film, which very clearly shows the craziness of being in a natural disaster.
     An incredible and powerful film, although not one I necessarily want to see again soon.

The previous night I saw Les Miserables, which has already gone straight to the top of the UK box office and is proving a big hit around the globe. Adapted from the long running stage musical, and the original book, the film gives yet more life to this story.
     I'll admit I was worried about the cast because there were, for me, too many stars, but each and every one of them put in strong performances and surpassed my expectations. I have to pick out a couple though for special mentions. Firstly Anne Hathaway (Fantine), who I was least looking forward to seeing. Before hand I could only picture her in goofy roles such as in Princess Diaries, but she blew me away with an incredible performance that set up the whole film. Secondly Eddie Redmayne (Marius), who I am growing to appreciate more and more. I did not expect him to sing as well as he did and again his acting was superb. Finally Samantha Barks (Eponine), someone I have admired since she was part of the BBC show 'I'd do anything'. She was perhaps the biggest unknown, certainly world-wide, but played her part beautifully. She was not dwarfed by the presence of the other actors but held her own and, of course, sang brilliantly.
     Filmically it looked beautiful; the sets and costumes were fantastic and the music, which to many is already so well known, was done just about perfectly, I thought. If you are going to see this film, which I highly recommend, be prepared to come out feeling like you've been shot. Adrenaline will be pumping through you, but at the same time you'll just want to crash and not do anything for several hours, or at least I didn't!
     This is a phenomenal film, definitely go and see it!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Colours of Autumn

This is a video I posted of photos from the beautiful Bath Spa University campus where I am fortunate enough to study.
I took the photos in the autumn term of 2012.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Grey skies for a grey day

A wet Saturday in January. Feeling strange, feeling sad, although there is nothing strange and nothing to feel sad about. The radiators are on. I get more feelings: curling on sofas and wearing large jumpers and reading quietly.
     Next door the children, so noisy in the early morning, have gone silent, or gone out, though where to? In the rain and easterly wind that threatens snow, which wouldn't settle.
     Work has to be done, or rather, study. Increasing knowledge, producing word counts, perfecting techniques. All the while finishing the last of the Christmas chocolate, of which there was actually a large amount. Tiredness will come swiftly tonight.
     The year has yet to really get going, or maybe it's already in full flow, but just doesn't feel like it. Not much has happened, and then again, quite a lot. I think things are a bit unsettled, like the weather; sunny yesterday, raindrops racing on windows today. There's a steady patter on the glass.
     Is there anything interesting happening where you are?
     Well it is January in a wet Saturday.