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I am Legend

7 Dec

According to my room mate, this is ‘the scariest film he has ever seen and it gave him nightmares’. I’m not sure what you thought of it, but after watching it, I decided to add another movie blog-post to my repitoire. Few people know that the movie is actually based upon Robert Matheson’s 1954 book entitled ‘I am Legend’ and it went on to become the seventh highest grossing film of 2007….and of course, all this information is coming straight from it’s Wikipedia page

The film does have a fairly gripping story line, we follow the footsteps of Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) who is the last known survivor of a plague that kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters. Dr. Neville continues on alone in New York City as he struggles valiantly to find a cure for the ‘darkseekers’, he takes great pride (maybe mixed with perhaps a sense of guilt) in the fact that Ground Zero is his site and that he will fix this great problem.

Of course I don’t want to ruin the story line for all you AK readers as I know I have now wetted your appetite to see it for yourselves. However, I did pick up a quote which got me thinking and I thought i’d share it with you. At the very end of the film, the audience are read this quote:

In 2009, a deadly virus burned through our civilization, pushing humankind to the edge of extinction. Dr. Robert Neville dedicated his life to the discovery of a cure and the restoration of humanity. On September 9th, 2012, at approximately 8:49 P.M., he discovered that cure. And at 8:52, he gave his life to defend it. We are his legacy. This is his legend. Light up the darkness.

I couldn’t help but learn some thing from this Dr. Neville, he was a man who sacrificed every thing to try and rekindle the human race rather than it disappear in the darkness. And with these last four poignant words at the end of the film ‘light up the darkness‘ speaking of his continual efforts to try and perservere in a world which greatly opposed him and was against every thing he was for.

This reminded me of the words at the start of John’s gospel, ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:5

This verse portrays Jesus as the “light” that brings to this dark world true knowledge. He of course shone greatly during His time on earth, glorifying God in all that He did. And in Him being the ‘light of the world’ he brought the knowledge of a great and powerful salvation that would be available through His death. If you are starting to wonder what this all has got to do with ‘I am Legend’, I simply began to wonder that would we be known as people who lit up the darkness? Are we letting our faith shine out, even in the most dire of circumstances?

May we let Christ shine through us and follow his example at all times, being people who enable others to see Christ in all that we do. So I encourage you AK readers, light up the darkness! May we glorify God through our efforts in this.

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‘The Master of my Soul’

6 Nov

Hopefully you regular readers on Another King won’t see me as a movie junkie due to my other posts about classic film lines, however I felt this one was begging to be doneas i’ve been hearing it a lot recently. My focus isn’t exactly on a film, it is on the poem, ‘Invictus’, written by Victorian writer William Ernest Henley in 1875 and this has been more recently made famous by Clint Eastwood’s production in 2009, where he captures the poem being used in South Africa as they won the 1995 Rugby World Cup against all the odds. Perhaps you’ve seen the film or heard a few lines, but never got a chance to read the whole thing, well here’s your opportunity!

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

 

A poem that is filled with rich language and it’s all pretty emotional when it is used against the backdrop of a South African nation over coming apartheid and social inequality to go on and conquer some of the biggest names in world rugby, however that’s not what I wish to focus on. The last two lines have become very popular in recent months, many people have quoted them, have them scribbled down on their notepads or merely just thinking them to themselves in testing circumstances.

But when we stop to think about the implications of those last two lines, we see the utter foolishness of mankind creeping in. Psalm 14:1 states ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God’, and the words of this poem seem to show up this flaw in man’s heart. Man thinks we’re able to control our own future, we think we’re able to go against whatever circumstances beset us, because we are the ‘captain of our souls’.

We see many modern minds telling the masses of people in this world that because there is nothing out there, nothing eternal to worry about, then why shouldn’t every man and woman be in charge of themselves? No matter what is happening, they can turn it around because of their inward pride, because of their belief in no deity and their belief in their own strenght….

Of course, those readers of the scriptures know this to be nonsense….Psalm 128:1 ‘Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!’ Psalm 46:1 ‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.’ We must acknowledge that God is the master of our fates, he alone is the only one who can be a comfort in the midst of troubles and he alone is the only one that man can find refuge in on that great and terribly judgement day that is coming. May we continue to realise our own stupidity in placing trust in our own works and turn to an increased faith in God and his saving power.

As with all poems, lots of people can have lots of various takes on them so upon reading Invictus you feel some thing sticking out at you, drop us a comment and feel free to share!

 

Rise…and rise again

22 Jun

I’m sure perhaps most of you have heard of, read about or even seen the latest Robin Hood movie starring the acting talents of Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Differing from previous movies and series about the legendary outlaw from Nottingham, this movie attempts to show the birth of the legend and how he ends up roaming freely in Sherwood Forest, ‘robbing the rich, to feed the poor’, along with his Merry Men.

Not quite the look that Russell Crowe went for in the end...

I myself found it to be an interesting take on the myth and it was an enjoyable movie to sit through. However, just in case you’re wanting to click away from this post, it isn’t the start of a monthly Movie Review series on Another King, I only wanted to share with you some thing that I picked up on in the film.

The story follows that Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), soon to be Robin of the Hood, was part of England’s crusade to the Holy Lands and on the way back, they seek a quick exit across the Channel after their lion-hearted King Richard dies in battle from a stray arrow shot by the French castle’s Cook (some historical facts have been tweaked here for theatrical purposes I presume).Whilst making their way to the Channel, they witness the sight of an ambush, it is here that the story really begins, as Robin and his men unlawfully become Knights and take the Crown back to London. However, Robin is in the company of one of these Knights in his dying moments, and he makes a promise to return his sword to his Father in Nottingham.

No green tights were seen...

So, i’m a big fan of Russell Crowe movies and generally find him inspiring in the roles he plays (A Beautiful Mind, The Gladiator etc.) but i’m not generally a big fan of inspirational lines from movies, especially the ones that come off so very corny. However, the odd line does come across quite well, and grips me, and one such line was given in this Robin Hood film. Upon checking out this sword given to him, Robin discovers a motto that was engraved upon the hilt, (later in the film we find out that it was Robin’s father who introduced it to him), and it reads like this ‘Rise, and rise again, until lambs become lions’.

The message given here, is one of never giving up, and Robin then uses this to go on to, unify England, defeat traitors  and invading Frenchmen whilst getting the girl in the end.

As soon as I got a realisation of what this motto meant in the film, it got me thinking, not about joining a group of bandits and heading for the richest of the rich in Northern Ireland! But about what potential message this has for the Christian in life. I couldn’t help but think back to passages such as Isaiah 65:25 where it says ‘The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox.’ and Isaiah 11:6, ‘The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat.’ This explaining, how when Christ Jesus returns to Earth, the New Heavens and the New Earth will be brought and sin will be no-where to be seen and every thing shall dwell in harmony.

Perhaps in hindsight Robin Hood isn’t the best example to be using but during the film, it made me come up with a new slogan, ‘Rise, and rise again, untill lambs lie with lions’. As Christians, we too should never give up in our pursuit of righteousness and honouring God, we must strive to keep on going, untill Christ returns and we reap the true benefits of his death on the cross for us.

I'd like to say that I drew up this illustration to back up my cleverly designed slogan...but...

Thanks for reading folks!

Homeward Bound

15 Dec

“Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound.”

These are the words of Simon and Garfunkel in their song “Homeward Bound”. The longing to return home is an emotion we all experience at some stage. The desire to be with those who care for us and to be where we feel safe. This is not however the current experience of the songwriter as he sings “Everday’s an endless stream” and “each town looks the same to me”. This song reminded me of the difference there is between being a Christian and a non-Christian. Life is often described as a journey, for the non-Christian it is a journey into apparant nothingness with no real meaning but for the Christian it is a journey homeward towards heaven. Whilst the non-Christian may have an earthly home which may bring temporal happiness it will not fully satisfy unlike the eternal resting place awaiting those who have placed their trust in Christ. This confidence should set us apart from non-believers around us as we have a hope and a future whilst their lives have nothing of eternal significance in them. Thomas Manton describes the “best estate” of man as “vanity” whilst “a Christian’s worst is happiness”.

Homeward Bound is not however a unique title. It also forms part of a title for a Disney movie entitled “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey”. If you haven’t see the movie a brief plot summary can be found here. The incredible journey of Shadow (the Golden Retriever), Chance (the American Bulldog) and Sassy (the cat) involves passing through great mountain ranges to reach home. On our journey homeward as Christians we face many challenges and trials. There is one moment in which the characters climb the first mountain and believe they will see home on the other side. Instead they saw a great mountain range spanning as far as the eye could see. Often as Christians we feel like we face and endless range of trials yet unlike the animals in this movie we can rely on someone far greater than each other, Jesus Christ the Son of God, “who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” (Jude 1:24), will be looking after us the entire Homeward Bound journey.