Friday, April 29, 2005

I'll gladly pay you Tamale for a Hamburger Today...

...I'm sitting here consuming one of my favorite low-fat snacks...Hot Tamales. No, I'm not talking about that Mexican dish, but that wonderful movietime treat...chewy, cinnamon and full of kick! And, affordable at a $1.00 a box at Walgreens. (More on that fabulous store on a future post)

These delicacies have been around since the 1950's, although I don't remember when I was first introduced. (For the smart-alecks in the crowd, that was LONG before I was born. :) But, no matter when it was, I've become quite attached to these little bites of heaven on earth.

They aren't for the faint of heart, as they leave that spicy aftertaste that represents their colorful name. The newest versions of these treats even come in "extra hot" for those connoisseurs who desire a more "habenero" experience with their candy.

Along with Mike & Ikes, Hot Tamales have become a favorite among moviegoers. You can't deny the chocolate fix you get with a Goober or Raisinette, but after the latest low-fat diet craze, Hot Tamales have won the hearts of those looking for a somewhat less damaging way to cheat while plopped in front of a movie. Being a marketer myself, I applaud their efforts.

Which leads me to my closing story on Hot Tamales.....a group of friends and I went to see Titanic at the theater. The beauty of the emerging movie theater experience is you aren't limited to those restrictive boxes of candy, but can now buy it in bulk! So, as I perused my choices and calculated the 3 hours plus I'd be spending in the theater, I opted to purchase a pound of those red chewy delights. Much to my dismay, no one else in my group even liked Hot Tamales. After I chastised them for such heresy, I munched on my Tamales alone. I'm single, I'm used to that. :) What resulted was many weeks of Hot Tamales on my desk at work....where, thankfully, my co-workers joined in my affection with the cinnamon confection.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Leave a Legacy

There is nothing in this world we can leave that matters, except our legacy. What type of legacy are you leaving?


The attic smells musty as I climb the stairs
I open a box to discover what’s there
Crinkled pages of letters I’ve come upon
Telling stories of love lost and wars won

Smudged words reveal the beliefs in his heart
The stand that he took surely set him apart
Lives were changed as he spoke, so forthright
To direct those straying back to the glorious light

The last words I read from the collection of treasures
Revealed his impact on others, beyond all measure
Someone penned these words so accurately
“He left the world a legacy.”

A portrait hangs proudly upon the wall
Staring at its beauty, her life I recall
Is her image reflected in me?
Does the mirror uncover what others see?

Reaching on the shelf, I pull down a book
Cracking the spine to take a look
Her inscription I read and I shed a tear
Oh how I wish her sweet voice I could hear

Wrapping up in an afghan made by her hands
Remembering her ability to always understand
I walk this journey now with just her memory
“She left the world a legacy.”

Decades will pass on this journey I take
Full of successes and sprinkled with many mistakes
Who will I touch on the traveling road?
Wisdom from all ages is mine to bestow

My time is precious, my moments are few
So many dreams I want to pursue
But if only one vision is mine to partake
Followers of my lead do I wish to make.

Leaves crunch underfoot as he walks to the place
With a bouquet of flowers to add to her vase
He reads her epitaph reflectively
“I left the world a legacy.”


The world longs for satisfaction....where do we find it?


Early one morning I had a plan
Lacing my shoes I took off for a run
Looking for something to fill me up
I headed toward the sun.

As the sunset, my journey came to an end
My body tired and weak
And when I looked inside my soul,
I found not what I did seek

Many a banquet was served to me
Prepared by talented hands
Succulent dishes, all I could eat
Served at my command

As each feast ended and I left the table
My hunger would still remain
Would I ever be satisfied
And this emptiness in me wane?

Music would play continuously
For my heart and ears to hear
I’d never tire of melodies sweet
And to every tune I’d draw near

Then I’d hear the last note of the compositions
As the music would softly fade
No melody would fill my heart
Amidst all the symphonies played.

My life was full of the love of many
I sought to find a mate
Joy filled my heart when I would dream
And for this prince I would wait

But the loves of my life left me
At times, before I let go
And the flame I held for those in my past
Had lost it’s shimmering glow

One day as the sun arose, I stopped my searching
For the things that would satisfy me
When I found true satisfaction in my Savior
The One who loved me beyond degree

No race is fulfilling unless it leads to the cross
No meal fills me like the Bread of Life
No music soothes my soul like the voice of the Master
He’s the Lover of my Soul, putting an end to my strife

My prayer remains thankful for His filling of me
But contains my constant plea
May my Lord remain my satisfaction
But be ever satisfied with me.

And the winner is...

I'm normally not a fan of the movies nominated for best picture each year, but I feel like the cultural part of me should be interested in the movies that make the final cut. (As opposed to the cutting room floor!) At this posting, I've only watched 1 of the nominated flicks, Finding Neverland, but have heard about the ending of the movie voted best picture -- Million Dollar Baby.

What I've discovered is a theme running through Hollywood that has crept into the storyline of two of the nominated pictures, and becoming a running theme through other movies. That theme? The fascination with death.

I'll preface this blog entry by warning you that if you haven't seen the movies I've mentioned, and you don't want to be surprised, you might want to quit reading now.

Let's start with Finding Neverland. In totality, I truly enjoyed this movie. It is definitely a film for a lover of imagination. The story is told of JM Barrie, the author of "Peter Pan" and the inspiration for that tale. He is influenced by a family of 4 children, all boys, with a widowed mother who falls ill not long into the movie. Being a seasoned moviegoer, I had a sense the mother wouldn't make it to the final credits. And, I was right. At the end of the movie, the mother dies, leaving behind her 4 sons in the co-guardianship of Mr. Barrie. "Uncle James" as little Peter calls him, describes the afterlife as "Neverland" and if we imagine, we can be there too....and he can find his mother there in his imagination.

Again, I'll emphasize my enjoyment of this movie. Rarely these days is there a movie coming out of Hollywood that is void of profanity and nudity. I applaud the nominators for putting such a clean, wholesome movie on the best picture list. But, it brings to mind the fascination with death....what is the afterlife? Is it a Neverland? Can we go there in our imagination? Although no mention of God, the subtle message of believing is there, yet the universalistic message that we're all going to "Neverland" is prevalent. I may have never noticed this "death trend" if I hadn't heard about the other movie in question, Million Dollar Baby.

The trailers and promotionals for Million Dollar Baby give it the feel of a female "Rocky" flick. But, you are unsuspectingly surprised at its ending. Maggie is the "female" Rocky equivalent with a dream to become a boxer. Frankie, her trainer, athough skeptical, finally decides to take on her challenge and train her to victory. In a bout with the British champion, Maggie takes a deadly blow that breaks her neck and paralyzes her for life. At this point in the movie, the focus shifts to assisted suicide. Maggie doesn't want to live, and asks Frankie to help her. After refusing, Frankie changes his mind and decides to do it. He comes to her room, tells her he's going to do it, removes the breathing tube and injects her with adrenaline.

In this Oscar-winning movie, we've seen euthanasia and assisted suicide as a viable option. In one movie we see death as a trip into imagination, and in this movie our character buys her own ticket to her "Neverland." We speak much about the sanctity of life as it relates to unborn children. But, we need to begin to see the impact our disrespect of life is having on the other end of the spectrum....not just when we enter the world, but when we leave the world.

I believe it brings to light two insights to our society. First, we want to be the captain of our ship, our own "god" that knows best what we need. As humans, we rebel against authority, our sin nature leads us in that direction. The slippery slope of that sin leads us to ignore the One that Created us, and remembering that He is in control of whether we live or die.

Second, and the theme I spoke of earlier, our fascination with death. The world spins its wheels trying to find the answers to life after death, what happens at death, and can I know? This has always been a heated debate in the world, but as Christians, we should capitalize on the evangelistic opportunities it provides. Yes, there is life after death...and eternal life in Christ is available to any who believe and receive. It is not an imaginary is the glorious home of Heaven that is being prepared now for the Believer's arrival.

One of the controversies at this year's Oscars was the snubbing of a movie that surpassed all expectations and most box office records. Mel Gibson's, "The Passion of the Christ" was left off the best picture nomination list. Ironically, the fasicnation we have in this world around death should have catapulted the greatest story of life from death ever told into the best picture nominated list without hesitation.

For those looking for the answers to life's greatest questions, "what happens after death?", this movie depicted the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A death that didn't end there at the cross, but began with His Resurrection that gives those of us who believe a life everlasting with Him. Oh, if the world's fascination with death would lead them to the cross where their questions are answered!


I wrote this poem around the summer of 2003. Ironically, the message is still relevant today....

Passing By

I come to my spot and settle in
To a seat which I did not buy
Yet it’s comfy and warm for a moment
As I watch them go passing by

Stunning colors wave in front of me
Catching my wistful eye
While the bearers proudly raise their flags
As I watch them go passing by

Smelling the aroma of a nectar so sweet
My mouth waters, yet remains desert dry
Others are satiated to their fill
As I watch them go passing by

Galloping horses trot confidently on
Under the leadership of the rider’s eye
Their swooshing tails speak a sad good-bye
As I watch them go passing by

Laughing children play all around me
Some clinging to their father’s side
Do they know what their future holds?
As I watch them go passing by

Melodious music rings in my ears
My voice wants to join in reply
The music fades all too quickly
As I watch them go passing by

Vivid visions rise far above me
I wish to grasp them, and away I would fly
Alas, my reach was not enough
As I watch them go passing by

I rest in this spot, if just for a moment
And end with a yearning sigh
May I not tarry too long, lest I miss life’s love song
As I watch them go passing by