Here is our prayer for all who read these words and view the movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon", the life of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). "Lord, we ask that all who view the movie will discover if they fit the description of the turtle on the left or on the right?" (For purists, the correct name is tortoise.) Thatís our grandbaby Anne Marie posing on a stone turtle our kids and grandkids built for Peter and Rebekah.
Some turtles that are flat on their backs will only need a gentle nudge or tug to get back on their feet; but others will need someone with a crowbar to come alongside to pry them loose from man-made rituals and religious traditions. Just ask Jesus if you need a tugboat to come alongside of you or if you need someone with a crowbar or maybe both? Whatever we need He will send; but we do have to humbly ask. Thatís the key -- to humbly ask. This writer needed both and still needs lots of loving, gentle nudges and some spankings to stay right-side-up. You will enjoy this two minute video clip. Itís about nudging one another.
Click Here for the Turtle YouTube Video Clip
The movie that someone lovingly posted on the Internet is a full-length two-hour movie. Please receive it as a personal gift from Jesus via Peter and Rebekah and the many that played a vital role in it. It helped to turn Peterís life right-side-up. After seeing the movie, he adopted this prayer and has tried to live by it: "LORD, let my life be Your glorious contradiction to the worldís definition of normal." All his values and priorities were turned right-side-up a little here and a little there. The world around him treated Peter as if he had lost his mind. But after Jesus got a hold of him, he no longer cared what others say or think. What matters is that he knows that Jesus is and will always be nuts about him. Oh, what freedom is ours when the fear of man no longer controls our lives!
Family, friends and even the Church viewed St. Francisí bizarre behavior as crazy. Thatís the price forerunners must be willing to pay. Thatís the price Jesus paid. Be on high alert! The story of St. Francis of Assisi might mess with where you are, who you are or what you are doing. Before diving into the movie, here is a three-minute preview. It will let you know if you are a candidate for an "extreme heart and head makeover" or if you have already had one.
Click Here for the "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" YouTube Video Clip
"If you want your dream to be, build it slow and surely. Small beginning, greater end, heartfelt work grows purely. If you want to live life free, take your time, go slowly. Do few things, but do them well, single joys are holy. Day by day, stone by stone, build your secret slowly. Day by day you'll grow too; you'll know heaven's glory." (These lyrics are a part of the video.)
Here is a summary of a man of God that would have a hard time fitting into the world we have created for ourselves in this 21st century or any century. Psychiatrists would label him a schizophrenic, bipolar, or obsessive-compulsive. The Church might label him a heretic; and the world around him would probably call him a lunatic. Would I give this man a place at my table? Should I give him a place at my table? Might I be ready to join his order of poor and itinerant monks or support those who are a part of his band of followers? Those are provocative questions. We will all answer them one way or another as we view the movie. If you answer these questions in the affirmative, we would love getting better acquainted with you.
"St. Francis of Assisi was an extraordinarily complex and difficult figure whose effect on his contemporary society was electrifying. Even today, many people are moved by his visionary message of universal toleration. Twelfth-century Italy had an exceptionally grim and regimented society, but the barefoot monk from Assisi undoubtedly had the courage that comes from deep faith and was able to transcend the oppressiveness of the time. In this Italian/British-produced film, director Franco Zeffirelli attempts to bring his vision of this great man to the screen. The contemporary (1970s) example of the hippie movement contributed a great deal to the style in which the story is told. The musical score, using ancient Italian melodies, was arranged by Donovan. The film is visually beautiful in a way which tends to minimize the squalor of the times. As the movie begins, Francis (Graham Faulkner) is the son of wealthy merchants, and enjoys his share of wine, women and song without serious thought. When war and disease devastate his neighborhood, Francis undergoes an anguished transformation which culminates in his appearing before the local bishop and removing his clothes to renounce his previous life and family before dedicating himself to God. The culminating dramatic moment is Francis' appearance before Pope Innocent III (Sir Alec Guinness), to make his case for an independent religious order under new rules." ~ This brief overview is by Clarke Fountain, Rovi.
Click Here for "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" at YouTube
Folks, we are not trying to start anything new. Peter and Rebekah have discovered the rock of their salvation and are merely re-digging ancient wells. Click on the bench and sit a while by our lake.