Learn From a Movie: The King’s Speech

TITLE: THE KING’S SPEECH.
DIRECTED BY: Tom Hooper
PRODUCED BY: Iain Canning
LEAD ROLE: Colin Firth

FLYING WITHOUT WINGS

He stood in front of the crowd, tall, and handsome. They stared eagerly at him, their prince. His throat expanded and contracted, his lips moved, he spat out a few words and then fell into silence. He had a speech to deliver and the world was waiting but his vocal cord had shut down, like a computer paralysed by a deadly virus; possibly a Trojan. Or do you know any other virus, more notorious and powerful?

As the dilemma of the duke of York became rather embarrassing, the people began to avert their eyes, ashamed for him. I imagine that he wished that the ground beneath his feet would open to suck him away from the awkward moment.

How do we like our leaders? Not too long ago, a lot of people went gaga over president Bill Clinton’s looks, today, president Obama’s looks and charisma are not the least amongst his many assets. People love to fall in love with their leaders as they do with the heroes in their favourite movies. It is “vanity upon vanity” but who’s minding that? If a leader in not blessed with good looks, he must have a redemption ticket, which is none other than his voice. The power to command attention when one speaks and have listeners remember what you have said, long after you said it, is imperative for a leader, it even rates higher than looks because looks without voice will become ultimately boring. President Olusegun Obasanjo may not be on the list of world leaders that will be fondly remembered for their looks but he had a way with his voice, even if people didn’t always agree with him.

So, how can a prince who stammers and who’s vocal cord eventually freeze up should he venture public speaking be king? How will he communicate with his subjects and officials if he can’t get the words out? And for how long will they be willing to sympathise with him? Not very long, I imagine. But I reason as human, and God will be God.

In bible history, God choose Moses to lead His people Israel even though he had speech impediment. To add salt on injury, God did not heal Moses’ speech challenge miraculously to make his task of leadership possible to at least imagine. Instead, God appointed a spokesman for him in the person of Aaron, his elder brother. In the movie, “THE KING’S SPEECH”, I marvelled as I waited in vain for the speech challenge of the duke of York to disappear overnight, or at least, gradually, as the young man sought professional help from Doctor Lionel, an older man who had founded and developed a career in helping people with speech problems get better. The best thing that happened for the duke was that Lionel was always by his side to help him prepare mentally and emotionally to give a public speech shortly before and after his coronation as George V1, of England.

It was most striking for me that the duke had to be crowned king of England and fulfil his obligations in spite of his obvious obstacle. The “thorn in his flesh” was never removed, but as it were, the grace of God was sufficient for him. God sent him a helper in the person of a naturally gifted speech therapist, a man who had no formal training or paper qualifications. Imagine that?

Dear FOJ,

Just because you are afraid that your disadvantages, limitations or peculiar challenges can hinder you from fulfilling destiny does not mean that the grace of God cannot or will not be sufficient for you. By the special grace of God, anyone can fly without wings.

Yours truly,

Moni.

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LEARN FROM A MOVIE 2: LAKEVIEW TERRACE

MOVIE TITLE: LAKEVIEW TERRACE
STORY: DAVID LOUGHERY
PRODUCER: JAMES CASSITER, WILL SMITH
DIRECTOR: NEIL LABUTE
LEAD CHARACTER: SAMUEL L. JACKSON

CONTENTION

“And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either”, Luke 6 vs. 29b.

What should you do about someone who maliciously makes trouble for you when you are quietly minding your own business? Rationally, it is proper to fight back, teach the person a lesson or two. People who love to make trouble usually don’t know when to stop so the smart thing to do is to finish them off before they do you. However, in Luke 6 vs. 29b, the Lord Jesus says otherwise. Why?

Sometimes, the words/ways of a wise man sounds/seems foolish but in the end, it works wonders. In Genesis 26 vs. 17-33, something inspiring happened in the life of Isaac; the story of the wells he called Esek, Sitnah, and Rehoboth. When the herds- men of Isaac dug the first well, the herds- men of Gerar contended with them, they said, “the water is ours.” Isaac had every right to fight back but he didn’t, instead he moved on and his men dug a second well. The herds-men of Gerar contended with them again and Isaac still refrained from challenging them. He moved away and dug a third well, and this time there was no contention. Isaac took this for a sign that the Lord had given him peace and he was right because not only did the men of Gerar leave him alone, he prospered. It didn’t take long before the nobles of the land of Gerar heard about Isaac’s prosperity and they came to bow down to him.

Sometimes, you need to hold your peace, certain battles demand for it.

In the movie “Lakeview Terrace”, the protagonists, Chris and Lisa didn’t really need to contend with the antagonist, Officer Abel. There was a mighty fire migrating towards that neighborhood and everybody needed to get out, including Officer Abel. The fire was on the news but the couple paid no attention because they were busy contending with Officer Abel. If they were thinking like Isaac in the bible, they would have quickly put the house back on the market and moved. Lisa’s father, an experienced lawyer gave that suggestion when the couple told him about Abel’s unpleasant attitude but they didn’t listen. In the end, Abel or no Abel, they realized they had to move because the fire kept encroaching on the area.

Sometimes, what someone is fighting hard to take away from you is not your REST, nor your BLESSING. You may need to lift up your eyes and look farther. You may need to walk another mile. It might look like you’ve suffered injustice like a coward but your contenders are actually helping to chase you in the direction of your REST.

Haven said that, there are times when we may need to contend with an enemy and wrestle out of his hands what he has taken from us. So how do we know when to contend and when not to? The thing is to be sensitive to the leading of God. Is God saying contend, or is He saying, hold your peace?

In 1 Samuel 30 vs. 1-9, David contended with the Amalekites and recovered all. In Genesis 14 vs. 1-16, Abraham contended with four powerful kings and recovered all. One thing we all have to contend with the enemy over is our faith, see Jude 1 vs. 3. Our faith is a gift from God (John 6 vs. 64-65), and without it we cannot please God, (Heb. 11vs.6). Neither can we receive anything from God, (James 1vs.6-7). Therefore we have to contend with anything that wants to take away our faith and win.

Dear FOJ,

Peace and love is the way of Christ our Lord so don’t enter into contentions easily or unnecessarily. When faced with a situation that is really bad, seek God’s face and get His approval before you go offensive. Remember, it is God’s power that will fight for you and give you victory so if you’re in it alone you will end up getting frustrated and overwhelmed.

Yours truly,

Moni.

LEARN FROM A MOVIE: LAKEVIEW TERRACE

LEARN FROM A MOVIE.
MOVIE TITLE: LAKEVIEW TERRACE
STORY: DAVID LOUGHERY
PRODUCER: JAMES CASSITER, WILL SMITH
DIRECTOR: NEIL LABUTE
LEAD CHARACTER: SAMUEL L. JACKSON

ANGER

”Sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Anger, bitterness and arrogance are a lethal concoction; anyone high on it will end up killing somebody or getting killed. In the bible, Cain got high on it and killed Abel, Genesis 4 vs. 1-9. In the movie Lakeview Terrace, Officer Abel got high on it and got himself killed.

Officer Abel, played by veteran actor Samuel L Jackson, was hurting. His pain came from suddenly losing his wife as well as the circumstances surrounding her death. She died from injuries sustained in a fatal automobile accident. She wasn’t the one driving, her white boss was. Prior to her death, Abel’s wife worked as a nurse attending to patients with special needs in the comfort of their homes. At the time of the accident, she was supposed to be administering care to one of her patients. So why wasn’t she there? What was she doing in her boss’s car? Where were they going? Abel put two and two together and it equaled AFFAIR.

Officer Abel was a black man and his wife was a black woman. Would he have felt less angry if the man his wife was cheating on him with was black? I don’t know but he was terribly hurt to discover that his wife was cheating on him with a white man. He was a black man in a country that was predominantly white. History has it that the white man has taken a lot, if not too much from him already, so why did he have to take his wife too? There was a lot of race induced tension in this movie; however the core reason for the tragedy in the movie was anger.

Chris, a young white man is married to Lisa, a young black woman. Reading between the lines, In-laws on both sides of the fence appear to be supportive but the whole idea was not such a “pleasant surprise” for them. And the couple, though in love are not spared the inconvenience of an unconventional marriage. Chris complained that he was constantly taking “shit” from black guys because he was married to one of their own. Lisa understood that theirs was not an easy path and she believed strongly that one of the ways to insulate their home was starting a family. Nice idea except that Chris disagreed. In his opinion, having babies was such a big step for newlyweds; it was something that needed planning. Lisa took Chris’s lack of enthusiasm to start a family with her personal; was Chris secretly not proud to be married to her?

When Abel saw Chris and Lisa together, shock shot through his system. That was another white man with a black woman! The couple had just bought a beautiful house right next to the house Abel had lived for twenty years. Abel was resentful and hateful. All he kept thinking was, “no, you guys are not supposed to be together, get this thing out of my face, you’re not welcome in this neighborhood, sell this house and move.”

However, despite all Abel did to harass Chris, the young man remained obstinate because he believed Abel was out of line. The middle aged black cop was old enough to have learnt how to manage his emotions. He was living in America; a white man having a relationship with a black woman was something he would have to live with. But Abel was too angry and arrogant to think straight. When Chris finally said to him, “we’re not moving”, Abel turned to crime. He had failed in his attempt to scare Chris off with verbal threat, so he thought some violence might help him achieve his aim. He didn’t expect things to get out of hand; he didn’t think that the moment he stepped into the dark side he would be signing his own death warrant. In a final show-down that drew the attention of the police, Chris and Lisa managed to escape with their lives but Abel took some bullets that knocked him down and out.

Dear FOJ,

In Ephesians 4 vs. 26, Apostle Paul advised Christians to exercise self control when angry, failure to do so will give the devil a chance to step in and blow things out of proportion.

LEARN FROM A MOVIE (SCHINDLER’S LIST)

Movie Title: SCHINDLER’S LIST
Written by: STEVEN ZAILLIAN
Produced by: STEVEN SPEILBERG, GERALD R. MOLEN, BRANKO LUSTIG
Directed by: STEVEN SPEILBERG
LEAD ROLE: LIAM NEESON

“HAS GOD MADE YOU A PROMISE?”

I look at them, one moment they were men, women and children but in the moment that followed they appeared to be rats, spiders, cockroaches, flies, fleas and all manner of pests that hundreds of enraged men were scrambling to get rid of.
Stamp them under your feet! Beat them with brooms! Crush them with a spike! Smoke them out of their holes! Don’t let any of them get away! Grab them all! Seize them all! Kill them all!

As l watched Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”, I marvelled. I go into shock, I come out of it and go into anger, I come out of that and go into shame. The children of promise were stripped of glory. Each time German soldiers opened fire and dead bodies of Israelites piled up on blood soaked earth; God’s promise to Abraham was threatened. (See Genesis 13 verses 14-16)

It was war but why was Adolph Hitler particular about exterminating the Jews? 2 chronicles, chapter 36 talked about the fall of Jerusalem, was it a case of history repeating itself? Was God angry at His people? Did He deliver them into the hands of Adolph Hitler? I don’t know. But from bible history I know that nobody got to strip Israel naked unless God allowed it. They went through four centuries of darkness and horror in Egypt because God allowed it, (see Genesis 15 verses 13-14). Fresh out of Egypt, Balak tried to get Balaam to curse them but God didn’t allow it, (see Numbers 23 verses 1-11)

God promised Abraham He would love His children long after he was gone but in Genesis 32 verse 9, God was so angry at Israel that He wanted to destroy every single one of them. It was Moses who interceded for them, and reminded God of the promise He made to the patriarchs. Because of that promise, God “relented from the harm which He said He would do to the people”, (Genesis 32 verse 14). I believe that it was also because of that promise that Hitler did not succeed in exterminating the Jews.

Oskar Schindler, German born and breed was used by God to save a remnant of Israelites from the hands of his brutal brother. Imagine that? Just who was this man, Schindler? He was not a godly man; he was a ladies’ man. He loathed the war but he didn’t see anything wrong with exploiting it. He was a German but he loved Israel. Before the war, Schindler was a failure, with the war, his luck suddenly changed. Or so it seemed. He successfully seduced high ranking German officers such that they were always ready to grant him favours. He presented himself to the distressed Jews as a saviour and they gave him their money to start a business as well their lives to run it in exchange for security. Security was high priced, there was a war, and nothing was certain but as it turned out, it was better to be a Schindler’s Jew than an ordinary Jew.

Who was a Schindler’s Jew? He or she was an Israeli working in Schindler’s factory and making money for him. Schindler’s factory was approved by high ranking German officers so workers were more or less privileged. However, when the heat of the war intensified and Schindler’s business and the lives of his workers became threatened, he made a selfless decision. He took a large chunk of the fortune he had made and paid for the lives of one thousand one hundred Israelites and moved them away to his home town where he thought they and his business would be safe. But the war ended shortly after that with the Russian army crushing the Germans.

The highest point for me in this movie was when a Russian soldier, riding on a horse, announced to Israelis, “You have been liberated!”

Just like that, the nightmare was over. Six million Jews had been murdered in the war, but a remnant was saved to keep the name of Israel alive on the surface of the earth. God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and Israel did not fail after all.

Dear FOJ,

God bends forward, backwards and sideways to fulfil His promise to someone He loves. Has God made you a promise? He will fulfil it. The storms of life may blow but nothing can stop God from proving Himself faithful to you.

Yours truly,

Moni.