Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

February 28, 2008

Learn about God, check out a good church Sunday

The Academy Awards have come and gone. What? You say you didn't know that? It's true. Last Sunday night, the fewest people in the 80-year history of the Academy Awards cared enough to see what movies and performances were being honored.

I didn't care. I didn't watch. For me, Hollywood seems out of touch with what I and probably most Americans find entertaining. Oh, I know they say those small, independent films have all the good acting in them, but let me remind you of some other past winners that people did care about.

"Gone with the Wind'' won in 1939 and a few years later, "Casablanca'' won the coveted statue. Who could forget "My Fair Lady'' and the "Sound of Music'' winning in back to back years in the sixties?

What about "Patton,'' "the Godfather,'' and "Rocky'' in the 1970's? Even movies that lost to those mentioned include "The Wizard of Oz,'' "Stagecoach,'' "Mary Poppins,'' and "Cabaret.'' It seems that even the losing efforts of the past are often better than the winners of this era. My humble opinion, of course.

As people of faith, we must be discerning about what the world tells us is good entertainment. Just because a movie critic who receives his salary from the entertainment industry tells us it's okay for us and our children to watch a certain movie, does not mean we should or that it's even worth viewing.

We cannot let the entertainment industry decide what is appropriate and good for us. God must do that. We can learn what God thinks about many of the current issues depicted in today's movies by reading his word and learning about him in a good church. Check one out this Sunday.

As for all those movies I don't care if I ever see, I'm content watching movies that I've seen many times like "The Ghost and Mister Chicken." It didn't win an Oscar, but it made me laugh.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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